This year, in our co-op class, the older elementary-aged girls are participating in an American Girl Club using the American Girl books. These books are a collection of historical fiction for second through fifth graders focusing on the lives of individual girls during certain periods in American history. For example, Felicity’s adventures take place during the time of the American Revolution, Addie’s setting is the Civil War, Samantha’s stories take place during the early twentieth century, and Molly faces challenges on the home front during World War II.
During the semester, the club focuses on one of the American Girl characters, reading the corresponding books, learning about the related historical period, and working on period crafts. This semester the girls are studying Kit, the doll that represents the Depression Era of the 1930s. Some of their activities include interviewing a grandparent or older friend who remembers the Depression and making an accordion-style pop-up card.
If you have a young girl who enjoys the American Girl series, you might consider doing a unit study about a particular character. A Google search for “American Girl Unit Studies” will bring up many sites with ideas for lap-books, cooking and craft activities, and additional reading suggestions.
Some helpful books you can find at your library include:
Welcome to Kirsten’s World, 1854: Growing Up in Pioneer America – This book describes what life was like for pioneer Americans during the mid-1800s. If you’re not studying Kirsten, though, don’t worry — these history books are available for each of the characters.
Felicity’s Craft Book: A Look at Crafts from the Past With Projects You Can Make Today – This book features craft ideas from colonial times. If you’re studying a different era, you can find a corresponding craft book for that time period as well.
Kit’s Cooking Studio and other cookbooks featuring period recipes are also available.
So the next time you’re in the library, look for an American Girl adventure book. For many girls, this series makes learning history fun.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from AmericanGirl.com