Curriculum · Social Studies

Using The Good and the Beautiful History Year 3 for elementary, middle, and high school

(This post contains links. Some are just links to cool resources that I like and use, and I receive no compensation for sharing them. Purchases made through the links to my Teachers Pay Teachers store do help to support this blog. Thank you!)

For the past two years, we have used The Good and the Beautiful for history. I have really enjoyed the lessons, the integration of U.S. and world history, and the flow from ancient history to middle ages to exploration to modern times. Spending a whole year on one time period, such as the classical homeschooling method, just never really worked for us. I much prefer TGTB’s approach to learning something different about each time period each year during a four year rotation. This upcoming school year, we will be continuing with TGTB History Year 3 for my 5th, 8th, and 9th grade kids. Yes, we will be simultaneously using this history curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school.

As an overview of TGTB History Year 3, the base curriculum set comes with the Course Book, Big Book of Stories, and Bill of Rights Round-up game. I also purchased the supplemental read-aloud book pack that contains one historical fiction book selection for each time period. Games from Year 1 and Year 2 are also included (optional) in the lesson plans. The timeline from Year 2 is also used again and added to this year. The curriculum also comes with a code to access online audio tracks that go with select lessons and printable Student Explorer books. The Student Explorers contain maps, timeline worksheets, assignments and additional readings, depending on the student’s grade level. The grade 10-12 Student Explorer also includes a set of projects to complete for each unit.

In previous years, we have pretty much used just this curriculum with supplementing only a few additional books from the library, YouTube videos, and printable paper dolls. It is easy to browse the books on the library’s website and write down the call numbers before we go, or if I am really pressed for time, I will place them on reserve and pick them up later in the week. The printable paper dolls keep my girls hands busy so their ears and minds stay focused while I read aloud. Three websites I like for the paper dolls are Paper Thin Personas, Practical Pages, and For YouTube videos, Homeschool on the Range has coordinating videos for each unit of each year of TGTB History.

To differentiate the curriculum for my 9th grade high school student, I am including the project sheets from the grade 10-12 Student Explorer with some of the projects selected. I also created unit project sheets for independent learning for each unit and a student planning sheet to go with each. Each unit project sheet has a list of project topic ideas (events, historical figures, etc.)and project type ideas (oral, written, visual, etc.) for the student to pick from, or be inspired to come up with their own project. The planning sheet includes a place for the student to state their topic, project type, due date, planning steps, and list of resources. Open-ended project based learning opportunities like these are great for independent learners, kids who like choices, and gifted learners. These can be used instead of the high school projects that come with the curriculum or used in addition to make the class an honors class, which is how we will be using them. The unit projects for each Years 1-3 of TGTB History can be found in my TeachersPayTeachers store.

To organize the Student Explorers, I am using 1″ poly binders from Dollar Tree with 4 dividers (half of a set of 8 poly dividers, also from Dollar Tree). I included the Student Explorer pages for each unit behind each divider, along with the unit project assignment pages in my 9th grader’s binder. I find these flexible binders easy to store and easy to work with. The front cover can be folded behind if need be. My only complaint is the lack of pockets, but I will probably include a poly pocket binder folder if we need pockets. In previous years, we just taped a quart sized bag to a colored sheet of paper to hold the paper dolls or other small paper crafts and placed it into the binder.

For lesson planning, I am planning two lessons per week, with two days per lesson. One day will be spent completing the TGTB assignments and the second day with be for videos, additional reading such as library books, and time for the 9th grader to work on her projects. Year 3 contains 60 lessons, so approximately 30 weeks of lessons. Depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic plays out this year, I would love to add a few field trips such as to the Alamo and the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Pioneer Town in Austin, and National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg.


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