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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Make-A-State Activity

Home School in the Woods

Home School in the Woods offers a variety of hands on history projects to bring history to life in your homeschool.  I have used  many of their products over the last few years and have been very impressed with all of them!  I was delighted to have an opportunity to use and review their brand new Make-A-State Activity from the Activity-Paks series.

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State

There are currently five different products in the Activity-Paks product line: Make-A-State, The Old Testament, The New Testament, Composers, and Artists.  Each of these product have step by step directions, printable masters, and photos to make at least one complete lap book plus 1-2 bonuses.  You can use the Activity-Paks to go along with any curriculum you are currently studying, or add some living books and resources to turn them into a complete study.  They are recommended for grades 3-8 but can be used with students who are a little younger or older.

With the Make-A-State Activity-Pak, you can actually make a lap book for all 50 states plus Washington D.C.!  There are 20 different projects for each state.  Some of the printable masters are generic and used over and over again for each state, while others (such as the flag) are made specifically for each state.  Projects include:

State Song
State Quarter
State Government
State Flag and Seal
State Recipe
State Sports Teams
State Vocabulary
Key State Facts
State Motto
State Symbols
State Industry/Agriculture/Climate
State Wildlife
State Geography
State History
Famous People
Native Tribes
State Landmarks
State Timeline
State Name

There is also a cover page for each of the states and a Name that State File folder game.  While it is recommended that you use your own books and resources to find information on the state you are studying, for each state there is a bonus State Page that gives some information on the state.  Directions and photos are given for each project and also for lap book assembly.

The Make-A-State Activity-Pak can be purchased as a download for $18.95 or as a CD for $19.95.  To complete each lap book you will need some supplies such as scissors, colored pencils, glue, double sided tape, a file folder, cardstock, and computer paper.

We chose to do the state of Arkansas because that is where we live, but what I love about this product is that you do not have to buy something for every state you want to do.  One purchase and you are able to do any state you choose or as many states you choose! 

When you make your purchase and receive your download or CD,  start with the Project Directions section.  This will tell you how to print each of the projects and what to print them on.  I printed out the instructions and then printed out all of the activities so the entire lap book would be ready to go.

There are some suggestions for resources along with one page of information from each state, but you are free to use whatever resources you have available in your home, library, or on the internet to complete the projects.  I used the Make-A-State Activity-Pak with my 8,10, and 11 year olds.  We all worked together to complete one lap book, over the course of about 2 weeks.  They recommend you store all of your pieces in a ziplock bag  and put the lap book together once you are finished, but we added the pieces to the lap book as we finished them.  You need one folder and two pieces of 8.5x11 cardstock to complete the lap book.

Here is a look at our finished project.

Front Cover

Middle of the Folder

Right Flap

Left Flap

Front of Blue Cardstock piece

Back of Blue Cardstock Piece

Front of green cardstock piece

Back of green cardstock piece

Each of the projects have places to draw, or spaces to fill out information.  Here are some photos of the Wildlife in Arkansas mini book, completed by my 8 year old.

The lap book is very personalized because you can choose to add the information that your child finds interesting, rather then filling in generic information.  For instance on our Arkansas history page, we talked about Washington Arkansas being the state capital during the Civil War because it is close by us and we have visited it often.  You can choose not to complete some of the projects and make a smaller lap book.  You also can choose how many famous people to include (we only did three), and the number of vocabulary words.  I was very impressed with the projects that were included with the lap book, you can tell that a lot of time and thought was put in to create this Activity-Pak.  I found it interesting that the included recipe for Arkansas was fried pickles.  I have lived here for 15 years and never had heard of them or seen them.  Right after I printed everything out for the lap book, I went out to eat with some friends who ordered fried pickles for an appetizer. It is a favorite dish around here!

Getting everything ready for the Make-A-State lap book will take some time.  You cannot batch print the masters.  The have to be printed one at a time because some of the pages are printed on the reverse side of the page, some pages are on card stock while others are on white paper.  The finished product is more then worth the time invested in printing everything out. You will end up with a product that your child will be proud of and can look back at for years to come.

I mentioned above that I have been very impressed with every product that I have used from Home School in the Woods.  The first product we ever used was The American Revolution Time Travelers American History Study from the History Through the Ages product line (that was before my blogging days.) The Timeline Figures are the best I have ever seen and we have used those for years in our homeschool.  We were able to review Great Empires from the Hands on History Activity Studies line.  We also have been able to review two of the Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.

Home School in the Woods now offers A La Carte projects for those who might want to add a project or two to their studies but not complete an entire study. There are currently 50 projects available.  You can try out the Erie Canal project for free by using code alacarte at checkout. ( I grew up in Lockport NY, which has the Erie Canal running right through it!)

Members of The Crew reviewed a variety of hands on history projects from Home School in the Woods.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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