Monday, August 15, 2011

Michigan History

This year for our history class the Engineering Dad and I decided we wanted to teach the two older kids Michigan history.  This will be a study of our home state, this was a history subject that I really loved as a kid and I am very excited about what we will be learning.  However as I began to look for something to teach with I was stumped.  When I was a kid learning MI history twenty some years ago we had a text book.  However I have learned that the state no longer uses a text book. 9or at least the parents I talked to have kids that don't use one)  They have some basic lessons on the MI DNR website (link attached) under the state history museum.

So began my adventure is compiling a MI history curriculum.  I started with the lessons I liked from the state website and a timeline of events from the same website.  I started researching  the people and events.  Some where I was blessed to stumble across a state school district which as a scope and sequence with lesson ideas and excerpts of The Mitten, the Michigan Kids History magazine.  So of course I printed them off and used them for the bulk of my teaching material.  They look like this:

I have to say most of the lesson ideas were not things I really want to teach my kids.  So I then went on to find activities for each lesson that would help them remember the main events and people of history.  I will be using a variety of lapbooking, notebooking, mapping and time line activities.  It is my hope to update you each week with what we have done so you can see our progress.

Day one was where is Michigan, we also talked about Michigan being a peninsula and  the Great lakes that boarder the state.  Our activity for the day is a where is Michigan lapbook from Homeschoolshare.

 I sorted my material into sixteen units of various lengths.  Material for each unit is stored in a file folder and the lesson outlines for each unit are in a binder.

Above you will notice we are also using Michigan from the Hello USA series.  Its an ok book if you want a general overview of the state.

Our sixteen units are as follows:

Unit 1: Michigan Symbols and Government - Where we will be looking at our state symbols and who are leaders are

Unit 2: Native Americans of Michigan

Unit 3: French Explorers, Mssionaries and the Fur Trade

Unit 4: The British Arrive and the Resulting Conflicts (this goes through the Revolutionary war)

Unit 5: The Road to Statehood

Unite 6: The Underground Railroad

Unit 7: The Civil War

Unit 8: The White Pine Era - Lumber

Unit 9: Mining History of the Iron and copper Mining Communities (Note we used this as an intro this summer to the topic of Michigan history while on vacation in the UP and we toured a copper mine and several mining museums)

Unit 10: Shipping - Life on the Lakes

Unit 11: Life in the 1880's - Growing up on a Farm

Unit 12: The Auto Industry

Unit 13: The Great Depression

Unit 14: WWII

Unit 15: The Mighty Mac

Unit 16: Paddle to the Sea - A look at the Great Lakes water ways using the book

I have to say that our kids are very excited about this topic and I am really looking forward to what we will learn this year.  Hope you come back and enjoy the journey with us.



  1. I'm excited! This looks like a ton of work you had to do! I always thought someone could capitalize big time on writing a 1/2 year/year long curriculum on different states histories. But....I don't really want to put any effort into it. lol :)

  2. Oh, I just noticed this as I was following and leaving your site...are you in Michigan? We live by the capitol! I planned on working on studying Michigan as well...probably next summer as we travel. Have a great year!