Jump to content


Engaging, interesting topical History Unit studies


Recommended Posts

Am I asking for too much?  Middle school level. Not too long each (but if they are long, I still want to hear about them, because I'm only just planning).  Maybe book series that explore topics?  


Isn't there a book series...Time Travelers or something?  


Anyways, what's out there?  


(Tell me if I'm being too vague...we're about to run out the door, and my lefty is trying to finish his cursive and I'm pretty sure teaching him cursive will be the death of me).  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Experimenting With the Vikings (for my science loving kids...who also were interested in Vikings).  I did a unit study on Viking using some of their lessons  and Usborn Time Travelers and a DK book....and some we made some boffer longswords - I found instructions on pinterest or you could use Weapons by Ducktape.  I was doing it with my 8 and nearly 12 year old...and I found the Time Traveler was more at my 8 year old's level, but the Experimenting with the Vikings was more at my 12 year old's.


But we could have just used Experimenting with the Vikings and maybe just used the other books for pictures, because they actually have a story to go with it that's not bad. 



Oh, and it's free.



There's a Magic Treehouse book (Vikings at Dawn I think)  we could have used with it but my 12 year old had already read it.  We started reading the Imagination Station book (Christian historical fiction) but my son didn't like it much.



Edited by goldenecho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you were asking for book series but I really recommend the Extra Credits History videos (just search on youtube).  They'll have usually a series of 3-5 or so short videos (about 10 minutes each) on a topic from history...often overlooked but important history topcis.  My 10, 12, and 14 year old LOVE them.  No activities...you'ld have to add those yourselves, but the videos are really worthwhile.


I also really liked The Science of Ancient Egypt - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Dr-Daves-Science/Category/Science-of-Ancient-Egypt-188989

I really like the writing style.


For book series, there's also Horrible History


And I like the Tales of the Dead books could be a good spine for Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, or China...they have a comic book story in the margins and info related to the story and the time on the rest of the page.  


Tools of the Ancient Romans and Tools of the Ancient Greeks are history books aimed at grades 5th -8th with activities and questions built in (so basically a unit study).  I can't comment on the writing style because I was using it mainly for the activities, which were pretty good. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Just bumping this because I still haven't really found what I'm looking for.


(Everybody sing, "I stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllll....haven't found....what I've been looking for".


Doesn't have to be a book series.


I was thinking...the oldest two could do an INB, or a lapbook each month for a different historical topic.  I made a long list of topics, but...I'm stumped from there.  Actually, I'm really not stumped...I could make something up all on my own.  I just don't want to, lol.  I'm so tired of re-inventing the wheel.  Surely, there's got to be something out there?  


I did look at Jackdaws, but it would be awful expensive to do more than a couple of those.  


Below is the list of potential topics I made.  I figured the kids could pick one that interests them.  Read about it...library books, movies, etc etc etc.  But then what?  What kind of output should I expect?  And what should that output look like?  


·        Explorers

·        Inventors or Inventions

·        Art history

·        Space history

·        Scientists

·        Medicine

·        Presidents

·        Kings/Queens

·        Famous Rulers

·        Ancient Civilizations

·        Music/Musicians

·        Monuments

·        Famous Black Americans

·        Famous American Women

·        Civil War

·        Revolutionary War

·        World War

·        Vikings

·        Early settlers

·        Titanic

·        Indigenous Peoples

·        Renaissance

·        Slavery

·        Civil Rights

·        Women’s Rights

·        Middle Ages

·        Knights

·        Black Plague

·        London Fire

·        Industrialization

·        Worker’s Rights

·        Westward Expansion

·        Castles

·        Pirates

·        Eastern civilizations

·        Great Depression

·        Jewish history

·        Biblical people

·        Famous athletes

·        Automobiles

·        Seven Wonders

·        Holocaust

·        History of flight

·        Guns

·        Early Modern (1800s)

·        Modern

·        Immigration

·        Agriculture

·        Africa

·        India

·        Barbarians

·        Huns

·        Internet

·        Military vehicles

·        Clothing

·        Tyrannical leaders

·        Olympics

·        History of chocolate

·        History of the English language

·        Reformation

·        Crusades

·        Holidays



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you looked at Truthquest? They have units of history/time periods -- broken down with book lists and then tons of lapbooking, notebooking, maps, and other hands on options...


Hadn't heard of it but...it's too broad.  I'm looking for more of a specific unit type thing.  


So...I found these You Choose Interactive History Adventure Books, which are perfect.  But I need more, lol.  Ideally, my kiddos will spark an interest in whatever it is they choose to study, follow bunny trails, etc etc and, after a month, be able to tell me all about it.  


The You Choose books are perfect...as a start.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you thought about units from Moving Beyond The Page?  They are usually diverse in their topics and you might find one to match one of your topics listed.  Rainbow Resource has extra samples for the guides to look at more if they seem like something that would work.


Can the books be purchased separately?  I had looked at MBTP before but just the Social Studies curriculum for an age group is expensive.  But if the books can be independently sourced, that might be useful.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the MBTP books can be bought individually.  We buy only ones that work for us here, so 1 or 2 from each age group.  It's easier to buy from RR, I think, but if you go to the "what is included" link on the curriculum packages on the MBTP homepage, they have individual pricing and "add to cart".

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...