*Disclaimer – I received this product for free and was compensated for my time.
All opinions are my own.
There has always been somewhat of a fascination with the Middle Ages. The romance, chivalry, and mystery is what draws so many people in. It is without a doubt a time period well worth studying, as along with what is quite well known, there are many intriguing ideas and realities that have unfortunately been overlooked. Over the past year of our homeschool we have really delved into the study of history, mainly of early Europe, through reading. Books alone are fantastic resources for learning the stories of early medieval history, but I personally learn so much better when I have visuals and projects to work on along the way. I knew we wanted to do a unit study of some sort, but with so many options to choose from out there, I had no idea where to start! This is where our Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport hands-on lapbook and activity study has been an amazing addition to REALLY bring history to life!
Who is Project Passport for?
If you have any interest in the Middle Ages at all, then this is the study for you! Teachers and parents alike will love this resource for hands-on lapbooking or notebooking. There is something for everyone, with projects focused on creative writing, art, research, review and just plain fun (who wouldn’t want to build and operate a catapult?!). The recommended age range for this particular program is 3rd – 8th grade, though we have been effectively modifying it for use with our 2nd grader also.
How does Project Passport hands-on lapbooking work?
Our Project Passport: The Middle Ages study comes with a CD that contains everything that we need for each lesson. There are 25 “Stops” on your journey, each one containing a Travel Itinerary that gives you an overview of what you’ll be studying or the project you’ll be working on that day. Everything is accessible and printable from the CD itself, which is very helpful to have. There are photos of what each finished project may look like, clickable links to the projects and parts to print, as well as audio for your “tour” of medieval history. Any extra supplies you may need for bigger projects are clearly listed, and most of them readily available. You may cover one stop a day, or take a few days to work on each one. It’s really very flexible and fits quite well into whatever amount of time you may have. We typically have been doing 1 stop a week and elaborating on it with the projects provided, as well as recommended reading to enhance the experience.
What does a typical day with Project Passport look like?
I will go over our travel itinerary for the day, choosing which project(s) we will work on. The nice thing about this style of lapbooking is there are quite a few options to pick from, and you can go as indepth as you like, or have time and ability for. Some projects include:
- reading a postcard from a famous person to their people during that time
- cutting and pasting information about the structure of the classes, makeup of a town, etc.
- creative writing articles for the local “Medieval Times” paper
- building a castle out of sugar cubes
- creating a medieval meal
The options are so many without being overwhelming, there’s always something interesting and fun to help you dig deeper into what you’re learning.
One of our favourite recurring projects are “Life” books. Each section opens up to something we’ve remembered and written about what we’ve learned. It’s a perfect, quick way to notebook and review.
Once we have the projects picked and printed (and sometimes there is a LOT of printing, so make sure you are prepared in advance!), we read through the “Stop”. Basically this is an overview of what you will be studying for the day: Life in a Town, the Feudal System, Merchants and Explorers, etc. I love that it gives a very concise and clear description and picture within the information you’re reading, without taking a whole heap of time to get through. After the stop we work on our projects or timeline – the timeline included is not my favourite part of the program, though if my kids were older I think we would get a lot more out of it. (I can’t wait to use Homeschool in the Woods other timelines though, I’ve heard they’re amazing!) I do love that there is the option of printing the whole timeline out to color or mark off as we go along, or that you can take each event of the timeline and match them up with the dates yourself. This would be a great resource for older children to reinforce how to use a timeline, and review where and when events occurred. Throughout the remainder of the week we spend time reading from recommended books about that time period. The program comes with a really good list of book options. Most of these books are available in print, many from the library, and a good number of them free online or with an e-reader. The only downside is that you need to determine which books would be best for reading aloud, or at which age level certain books would be appropriate. A Child’s History of the World and Our Island Story are amazing read-alouds. We’ve also enjoyed Stories of Robin Hood, Otto of the Silver Hand and Beowolf (among others). Some great picture books would include Chanticleer and the Fox, The Kitchen Knight, and Saint George and the Dragon. For individual reading we like The Whipping Boy, The Door in the Wall, Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Minstrel in the Tower, Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky, and Who Was Marco Polo. You can see our full list of favourite reading for the Middle Ages to go along with Project Passport.
Why you should use Project Passport:
We have so enjoyed using History Through the Ages: Project Passport and the Middle Ages, and it is one of the reasons that I have learned to love lapbooking so much. It comes with everything you need for printing, plus ideas for additional resources, clear instructions to follow each day, interesting and intriguing information, timeline included. And in the end you’ve not only traveled through time to more fully understand the inner workings of just what goes on in the Middle Ages, experienced a jousting match and heard the hubub of a busy medieval town, but you have also created a really amazing Scrapbook of Sights to show off what you’ve learned. Thanks to Homeschool in the Woods we have one of these CD projects to give away to you! Please use the form below to enter! a Rafflecopter giveaway