Monday, May 9, 2016

Homeschooling With American Girl: The Birthday Project

After writing Saturday's post about Maryellen's birthday, and all the amazing things she would have seen in her life, I started thinking of what an amazing opportunity something like that could be for a classroom lesson and project. 

This is a very fun, diverse project that you can adapt to fit in with your personal educational goals. We will certainly be trying it here in out home, but I wanted to share it with you too, especially with another three American Girl birthdays coming up this month alone! 

Please, if you use any of our lessons in your classroom, feel free to share them with me! You can leave your a message directly in the comments section or send an email to Your story could be shared on the blog. I love seeing what others are doing in their classrooms and sharing ideas!

In Saturday's post I discussed some of the exciting things that Maryellen, who would have turned 71, had been able to witness first hand in her life. Every Historical/BeForever doll in the line has their own special part of history that they live in, however they all would have seen so much more in their lives than could be covered in the books, In this Birthday Project I thought it would be fun to explore other historical events that the girls would have been able to see/participate in as they grew up.

American Girl Birthday Project

Today would be ______________'s birthday if she were a real girl. Below you will find some questions about ____________ and historical events that happened both in her books and during her life.

1. What year was ______________ born? On what day?

2. How old would she be today? Could she realistically still be alive? If not, what would her life expectancy have been in her period of history?

3. What were some major historical events happening when _______________ was your age?

4. What is something special that _______________ did to celebrate her birthday in her books? (If _____________ did not celebrate her birthday in the course of her books, what is a common way that children would celebrate their birthdays during that historical period?)

5. Make a timeline of _____________'s life. On the timeline write at least 10 historical events that would have taken place in their lifetime.

6. Choose one event that you placed on ___________'s timeline. Write a story about ____________ during that event. How old was she when it took place? Where did she live? Where was she when the event happened? How did she react to it? Be creative. The story can be as long as you want, but must be at least 5 paragraphs long.

Remember, the above lesson is just a suggestion. You do not have to do it in the exact same way that I did. Take the things you love about it and mold it to fit your educational needs! (For example, my younger children aren't writing an entire story about the chosen event in history. Instead we are talking about what might have happened.) And, as always, please share with me! I'd love to see what you do. I do ask that you link back to the blog if you share this lesson plan anywhere else, or provide a link if you share any other blog/person's ideas here. I love sharing ideas and brainstorming, but please give credit where credit is due. 

~Mrs. D

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