As part of our The Good & The Beautiful History Year 2 curriculum, I read aloud from a chapter book of historical fiction for whichever time period we are studying (ancient history, Middle Ages, explorers, modern history). We have discovered that paper dolls are a great addition during history read aloud time!
I have several sites that I have found free printable time-period paper dolls:
I print the pages in black and white on regular white paper, and the girls color and cut-out while I read. Since the books last much longer than the initial coloring will take, the girls will also trace designs onto plain white paper and make new outfits for their dolls. We store the dolls and clothing in quart size bags taped to a page in their history notebooks.
The girls have had a lot of fun doing this, and they have learned a little about time period fashions along the way. Keeping their eyes and hands busy allows their ears and brain to listen without mentally wandering, getting bored, or losing interest in the story. For reference, my children are in fourth, seventh, and eight grade, however I plan to continue this practice into high school. It helps them focus, and creates colorful, fun additions to their history notebooks!