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Topic: Anybody use American Girls books for history?

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Subject: Anybody use American Girls books for history?
Date Posted: 8/23/2007 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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I was thinking of using these books for supplemental history lessons. Ok, I want to read the books too because I am a dork:) I would have just eaten these books up as a kid!

Any ideas for lesson plans online?

I just  found out today that there are American Girls Short Stories too when I found one at the thrift store.

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Date Posted: 8/24/2007 12:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
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This one isn't free:


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Date Posted: 8/24/2007 1:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
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We didn't use the American Girl books as 'official' lessons, but they were great extra reading when we were studying those certain times in History.  My daughter has read all of the girls' stories at least 5 times each in the last few years.  = )  She's well on her way to collecting all of the books now.  (She's working on Kaya, Addy, and Molly right now.  Anyone have deals on those?)

Anyway, they're great books for supplemental reading.  If you find (free) lesson plans based on the books, be sure to let us all know about it!


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Date Posted: 8/24/2007 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2007
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We have been engrossed in the American Girl series since January of this year!  It started with a theatre class which concluded with a show at a local children's theatre.  That was our introduction into the world of American Girl.  My dd liked it so much that I signed her up for the next class.  She has done  the Molly, Felicity, and Samantha plays.  We started reading the books alongside rehearsing for the plays and then I started requesting the craft and cookbooks from this site.  My library had most of them, but after checking them out, we decided we really wanted to have our own copies.  We have made some recipes and  tried some of the craft projects.  We are actually going to meet Valerie Tripp at a book signing at the Am Girl store in LA (we planned a family vaca to include it)!!!!!!  And I had colonial dresses made for both of my girls for the trip.  Felicity is my dd's favorite character, so she chose one of Felicity's dresses.  (If anyone wants the seamstress's info, I will gladly share it, she was wonderful!--I found her on vegsource.com)

We have had so much fun with this series!  I am still reading through the series myself.  Somewhere along the way, I ordered an American Girl Unit Study from the Highlights of  homeschooling estore.  With the exception of the projects in the ebook, I was really disappointed with it.  I think the books in the series along with the craft, cookbooks and plays were really effective.  They really enhanced the series.  You really have a sense of knowing these characters and sharing their life experiences with them. 

BTW, the movies are really good too! 

I have some of the books on my shelf and would be willing to deal-- 3 for 1 if anyone's interested (pm me!).  Unfortunately I don't have any Kaya or Addy, and only a couple of Molly--good luck on your hunt Jori! 


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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 2:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2007
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I would suggest that you look for the teacher's guides, which are out of print. These are supposed to contain a poster-sized map, and have lesson plans. The isbn for Kirsten's is 1562472364.

There are also the "Welcome to ____'s World" books for these girls. These are sometimes available at Sam's Club stores. The isbn for Kirsten's is 1562477706.

Our local homeschool group has an American Girl Club.

Each semester the girls will study a different girl. We meet 6 times, about 2 weeks apart. At each meeting the next book in that girl's set is discussed. The girls will have read the book and looked for certain literary elements.

After the lesson, they will make a craft related to the era, and have a snack that the girl might have had.

This is done as a co-op, with the moms meeting ahead of time to decide which crafts and snacks they will do. Each mom signs up for a couple of these. We also have a similar, but more activite history-based group for the boys meeting at the same time in another area.

We also end each semester with an activity or party to tie it all together. We have done the Felicity, Kirsten, and Addy plays, thrown a luau for Molly, had a tea party for Samantha, and since Kit helps at the Soup Kitchen and collects clothing for those who might not have enough, we first discussed doing a food drive for our local food pantry, but decided to do a baby shower for our local crisis pregnancy center instead.

Since Kit also is interested in creating a newspaper, we had a small bulletin board that we set up to look like a newspaper, with dividers for columns. We would go through our Reminisce magazine collection looking for articles related to that book, and put them in our "paper", with a new "edition" displayed at each meeting.

I just received the AG Club Handbook on PBS and it has different activities and recipes than the craft and cookbooks do.

I read most of these books with my 27 and 25 year-old daughters and am still enjoying them with my 14 yo.

I hope you enjoy them too!!


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Date Posted: 8/27/2007 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
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I just got around to reading your post and the funny thing is, the mailman came and I received just now from another book trading site a box set that includes that handbook and a cd to create AG plays on the computer. Looks like fun!

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