for Trailblazer Books
We are delighted
that our good friend and fellow
writer, Julia Pferdehirt, helped by writing these Curriculum Guides for several of our Trailblazer
Books. Julia is a skilled educator and former homeschooling mom herself,
who has an excellent grasp of the kinds of studies that engage students.
As a teacher
or homeschooling parent, you're glad when you see your students with their
noses in books. But a good story is only the beginning of a learning adventure.
Since the Trailblazer Books take readers all over the world into different
cultures and time periods, each book opens a door to an exciting, humanities-based
study that includes geography, history, social studies, literature, and
Guides put a host of activities and resources at your fingertips to help
launch your students on a journey of discovery. The wealth of options
allows you to choose the best pace and content for your students. You
might want to assign students to simply read the book and then do one
or two projects on folklore or food, travel or topography. Or you can
delve deeper, planning a two-week unit with daily reading and vocabulary,
research, creative writing, and hands-on projects. Of course, as with
all good teaching, advance planning is key to effective use of the
Each guide includes seven lessons, enough for a two-week unit.
The first and last lessons cover one chapter and provide historical background;
all other lessons cover two chapters. All lessons include vocabulary,
background information, discussion questions, and suggested activities.
Activities are grouped by subject matter in the back of this guide:
Geography, History, Social Studies and Folkways, and Literature and Language
Arts. Within each subject, you will find icons (symbols) indicating different
types of activities (writing, research, speech, reading, hands-on projects,
video). Activities and resources particularly appropriate for younger
or older students are distinguished so you can target your child's learning
level. A three- to five-day Mega Project is also included. All activities
list resources and materials needed.
Four to six weeks prior to the study . . .
- Skim your
selected Trailblazer Book, review lessons in the Curriculum Guide, and
choose activities, noting materials needed.
any materials you will need through interlibrary loan and order films
from specialty sources. (Titles and authors are listed in the Activities
sections; full publication information is available under Resources
at the back of the guide.)
If you are planning a two-week unit . . .
will cover one lesson daily for seven days.
one or more short, focused activities from the back of the guide to
accompany each lesson. Activities especially appropriate to the chapter(s)
covered are noted on each lesson page.
- The remaining
days can be devoted to the Mega Project fully outlined in the guide.
It is possible to choose activities based on the age level, interests,
and learning needs of your student(s). You might choose one activity from
each discipline during the unit, or you might opt to balance the different
types of activities.
relevant chapters in your selected Trailblazer Book the day before the
lesson, to be read either individually or out loud.
and Prayer, In addition to collaborating with Julia Pferdehirt on
these guides, we (Dave and Neta) wrote a daily devotional to accompany
each lesson so kids can spend a short time in God's Word and apply scriptural
concepts to their own lives.
- Read aloud
the Background segment, then discuss Vocabulary and Concepts.
(Or ask students to use context clues and a dictionary to define
unfamiliar words as they read, leaving puzzling words or concepts to
discuss the following day.)
- Give students
an opportunity to discuss thoughts and reactions to their reading using
the questions in the Talk About It feature. Discussion, debate,
and interaction can be lively. Enjoy!
- Use the
suggested Activities, or one of your own choosing.
We hope you
will find these Curriculum Guides as helpful as the Trailblazer Books
Available only from
& Neta Jackson
The Hidden Jewel
Escape from the Slave Traders
The Drummer Boy's Battle
The Bandit of Ashley Downs
Listen for the Whippoorwill
Shanghaied to China
Spy for the Night Riders
The Fate of the Yellow Woodbee
Other curriculum guides featuring the
by Chris Roe