A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bring History to Life with Figures in Motion

These are so cool!  You may remember when we studied about Columbus, I found a printable "bendy guy" we could make.  Timberdoodle generously sent me three whole books of "bendy guys" (and gals!) to use in our homeschool.  We received Famous Figures of Ancient Times, Famous Figures of the Renaissance, and Famous Figures of the American Revolution for review purposes.  Each book comes with a full color, double sided bookmark.  We also received a hole punch and 3 packs of mini brads to make assembly a snap.

I was very excited when they arrived and I realized that each character comes both in outline and full color!  We could use these books as a review of what we've learned about history now, and still have a whole second set to use later, when we study these people again!  (Our history program is cyclical.)  This seems like an incredible value to me.

We decided to jump right in with some favorite characters.  Katie did Moses, who she knows from the Prince of Egypt movie; while Hannah did Qin Shi Huangdi; both from the Ancient Times book.  Jack did George Washington from the American Revolution book.

The kids really liked flipping through the books, asking, "Who's that?" or exclaiming, "Hey, I remember him!"  Fortunately, the front of the book has short bios of each character, so we can brush up on any figures we're not familiar with.

In assembling our figures, the kids had a little bit of a hard time with the tiny paper fasteners.  Jack broke a couple of them.  But eventually, all 3 managed to use them successfully.  My girls constantly amaze me with what they can do with their atypical hands.  Eli helped Katie with the mini brads when she did her Isabella of Spain figure.

Jack has been reading a book about the American Flag to Katie, and he asked if he could do the Betsy Ross figure.  He mentioned while working on her, "The only thing about these is all the cutting out."  I think he'd enjoy the project more if the pieces were finely perforated instead.

The first set of finished figures

After a few days of letting them play with their first set of "bendy guys," I had them glue them onto large sheets of construction paper.

We drew some lines underneath with a ruler, and the children wrote what they knew about the person, or paraphrased the summary from the book.  I thought they turned out nicely, so I put them up on the wall.  

Seems I should have planned my placement better, because soon Jack was telling me we should take down the white board to make room for more "people posters!"  I think we'll start putting them up in their bedrooms instead.  

Katie's Isabella I from the Renaissance book, before cutting

Although we're currently on summer break, the kids often ask me if they can make another bendy guy.  It's a great, low pressure way to review people we've already learned about, as well as introduce them to people they haven't studied yet.  

Something very cool happened while we were working on this review.  I've mentioned before that I've recently gotten into genealogy.  Well, I found an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War!  One of the things that thrilled me to no end is that Famous Figures of the American Revolution includes a generic Continental Army Soldier figure.

We personalized our "army guy" with some of the facts that we know about our ancestor.  This has really piqued Jack's interest in the Revolutionary War, and he's devouring every book he can get his hands on about the subject.  There are reading lists included in the Figures in Motion books, so we'll be on the lookout for books from the list next time we go to the library.

In addition to the 3 books we received, the history series also includes The Civil War and Medieval Times.  They have a Dinosaurs on the Move book that would be a huge hit with young paleontologists.  And there's Queen Esther in the new Footsteps of Faith series!  I can't wait to see what other Bible books they publish!  If you'd like to see a sample of these neat figures, go to Figures in Motion to download pages from their Medieval Times book.

Figures in Motion are available at Timberdoodle.  While you're at the Timberdoodle website, be sure to check out their curriculum kits.  This is the time of year when many of us are shopping for next school year, and you can check out their pre-assembled kits or make your own kit, selecting from their many incredible products, for a discounted price.  I see lots of items that we will be using next year, including Spelling You See, Math U See, and Daily Geography.  I'll be placing a big order soon.

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