The first unit in the Level Yellow: American History program is a 14-lesson journey through the eyes of the indigenous people of North America and Hawai‘i. Using picture books, you and your child will explore the myths, legends, and ways of life of Native Americans, learn about real Native Americans and important historical events from the point of view of the people who lived through them. Each weekly lesson includes hands-on, age-appropriate activities to do with your child that cover a wide range of topics in a child-friendly manner. You and your child will be delighted by the beautiful artwork of the picture books, enthralled by the diversity and complexity of the subject material while engaging in fun hands-on activities.
Level Yellow: American History – Indigenous People of North America and Hawai‘i was developed for children ages 6-10 who are ready to learn about things outside their immediate world. The lessons were developed by an Occupational Therapist to be developmentally appropriate and adaptable to meet your child where they are academically and in terms of their physical and mental development. Lessons cover topics beyond language arts including history, geography, science, math, life skills, and art.
Yellow Units are ideal for children ages 6 – 10 who can listen appropriately to longer picture books. Children studying at the Yellow Level should be capable of engaging in discussions about concepts or situations that they are not personally familiar with but can relate to when provided the appropriate information. To learn more about the Color Coded Level System, please see this blog post on the topic. Five Senses Literature Lessons is dedicated to meeting children’s educational needs in a developmentally appropriate way, therefore children may be ready for this unit study at different ages.
This program contains 14 lessons made up of over 100 different activities and discussion topics. The program is designed to be completed in a semester. Each lesson should take between one to two weeks with you and your child completing two or three of the suggested activities each day. The topics covered in the Level Yellow: American History – Indigenous People of North America and Hawai‘i include:
- Writing exercises
- Copy work
- Types of literature: myths, biographies, trickster tales journey stories
- Word relationships
- Literature Comparisons
- Letter Writing
Science and Math:
- Symmetry and Graphing
- Fractions, Patterns, and Estimation
- Engineering and astronomy
- Biology and chemistry
- Weather Science
- Fire Saftey
- Cultural compare and contrast
- Disability awareness
- Social Justice
Art and Life Skills:
- Art appreciation
- Drawing and painting
- Sculpture and crafts
- Cooking and baking
- Social skills
- Music and dance
- Logic and Reasoning
American History from the Begining
This unit includes stories from fourteen different Native American tribes from different regions of North America, including Mexico and Canada, and spans thousands of years of history. This unit study covers a wide range of Native American tribes and Indigenous People, including: Lenape, Cherokee, Mound Builders, Lakota, Inuit, Mogollon, Zapotec, Hawaiians, and Navajo.
The goal of this unit study is to convey the complexity of the Native American story in a child-friendly manner. The tribes and stories included have been selected to give your child an understanding of how there were many different groups of Indigenous People who not only lived here before European settlers but to make clear that they are still here today.
Learning Through Literature
Each lesson starts with a beautiful picture book. By looking at the pictures in the story, your child can imagine themselves there in the story with our characters. The act of not only hearing the story but also seeing it, engages both the sense of hearing and vision, bringing the story to life. The stories included in Level Yellow: American History – Indigenous People of North America and Hawai‘i are beautifully illustrated and include vibrant and descriptive language. We have sought to focus on books written by Native American authors, who can tell the most authentic history possible
Young children benefit from learning from picture books because the pictures help them to understand the story more fully. Books that take place in a place or culture the child is unfamiliar with can be more approachable to children through pictures. It can be hard to describe the difference between a wigwam and a tipi to a child who has only ever lived in a house. Seeing them in the context of the story helps the child grasp the concept and even visualize how living in one would be similar or different to living in a house.
Incorporating hands-on activities that tie into the story help your child relate to the characters and the narrative on a deeper level. Your child will get to eat the foods discussed in the stories and make an erupting volcano. By relating the activities and discussions to the story, you take the pressure off both you and your child to “get through” a certain number of subjects in a day. You will be exploring topics as they come up in the story in a natural way, following your child’s interest and discovering new passions. Your child will be learning without feeling like they are being taught. It is almost magical!
Written by an Occupational Therapist for all children
Children learn best when all of their senses are engaged, and the topics are presented in a way that respects childhood development. Too many curricula for children skip over the importance of play and exploration, moving straight into reading, writing, and math. Subjects are often taught in a way that isolates them from other ideas making them feel more foreign and complicated than they need to be.
As an occupational therapist, I have a unique perspective on childhood development. Children use games and play to explore their world naturally. By using play and fun activities, you can tap into their natural curiosity and feed their minds while helping them develop the physical skills needed for success in academics and life.
Five Senses Literature Lessons is designed to be used with any child, regardless of where the child stands concerning academic readiness. Such flexibility is possible because the curriculum is developmentally appropriate and respects the child. It is adaptable and expandable to suit your child’s interest and pursue growth in your child’s abilities in a gentle and fun way.