Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Resources to help your kids find fun with history

by Nancy McCammon-Hansen

Ok. I’ll admit it. I’m just a little bored. Thankfully our cats are pretty good at entertaining themselves because if I had as many children as I have cats…I’d be one crazy momma about now. So I’ve been scanning the Internet for blog post ideas and came upon some great websites for parents to spark an interest in history with their kids…and perhaps themselves.

Here goes with the suggestions:

Is this one ever a gold mine! Videos, activities, timelines and, of course, a store. Beautifully done and very entertaining. May be one of my new favorites.

While not graphically exciting as the first one, this website does have activities for students that look interesting and will likely keep them entertained for awhile. The National Museum of American History is part of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

You can also access http://historywired.si.edu from this site. From the website:
“This experimental site introduces visitors to some of the three million objects held by the National Museum of American History, Behring Center.
With less than five percent of our vast and diverse collection on public display in our exhibit halls, we hope that Web sites like this will bring many more of our treasures into public view. The initial 450 objects, selected by curators from across the Museum, include famous, unusual, and everyday items with interesting stories to tell. They are not intended to be representative of the Museum's entire collection.
Design and navigation for HistoryWired were generously provided by SmartMoney.com using its Map of the Market technology.”

There is also a blog with some interesting posts connecting the past to the present. Check it out at http://blog.americanhistory.si.edu.

The website http://www.abookintime.com is designed to assist teachers preparing lessons for various age groups and one particular page that those of you who love reading will appreciate is http://www.abookintime.com/americanhistoryreadinglist.html. Here you can find the names of books, by age and category, for various aspects of history.

Since Fort Wayne and Allen County have the second largest genealogy library in the nation, you may want to study history via your family tree. Here’s a wonderful website:
which will allow you to do just that. You can even research the meaning of your family’s surname. I found that McCammon means:

“Scottish and northern Irish (County Down): Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Ámoinn ‘son of Ámoinn’, a Gaelic form of the Norse personal name Amundr, which is composed of the elements ag ‘awe’, ‘fear’, or ‘edge’, ‘point’ + mundr ‘protection’.” Ancestry.com is the source the website leads you to.

Who knew there was a website called www.kids.gov and that from that site you can get to http://www.digitalvaults.org/. Digital Vaults takes you to photos from the National Archives.

The site http://www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/index.php provides webcasts on topics from the Library of Congress.

And as a parent or teacher, you can get information right in your inbox by signing up for the Kids.gov e-newsletter at http://kids.usa.gov/grown-ups/index.shtml.

Black History Month is coming up in February and http://www.education.com/worksheets/black-history-month/ has a variety of worksheets that can be printed and given to your child to learn more about this facet of our history.

There is also a page devoted to Hispanic Americans http://www.education.com/worksheets/hispanic/.

You can use the pull down menus to refine your search for other topics in American History.

This is just the tip of the iceberg (and today in Fort Wayne that word has taken on even more meaning since it’s -13 degrees outside and my feet are still cold with three pairs of socks on) so search for History Activities for Kids and let us know other fun sites that you find.

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