Review of "History Pockets" by Evan Moor
Book Review by A Book In Time
The History Pockets series provides easy and fun hands-on history activities without much preparation, planning, or gathering of supplies. The books are packed with projects, which are all meant to be photocopied for each student. Best of all, the completed projects are flat so that they can be stored in the students' History Notebooks.
The series consists of several titles for Grades 1-3, and then more titles for Grades 4-6.
What is a History Pocket?
The book's topic is divided into several themes, such as Daily Life, Government, Religion, etc. Each theme has several projects that will fit into a "Pocket" made from folded construction paper. The pockets are then hole-punched and bound together with string or ribbon to create a Pocket Book.
For our purposes, I have had great success just adapting several of our favorite activities to add them individually to each student's History Notebook without making any pockets. If you make the Pocket Book as instructed, it could still be put in your notebook, using the same holes you punched for binding.
What Kinds of Projects?
To give you a general idea of what each book includes, the Ancient Greece
book for Grades 4-6 has decorated Facts pages, a Map activity, and a Timeline that is ready to cut out and assemble. The Timeline guides the student with illustrations and captions to add information as they progress. You will also find writing activities, creative booklets to put together and decorate, and plenty of low-fuss crafts. In this book, the crafts include making a Hoplite Shield, an Alexander the Great banner, Mosaic (paper) tiles, a booklet of Olympian gods, Greek coins, and more. The instructions for Knucklebones tells you first how to make the game, and then how to play it.
How Many Projects Are Included?
The books are about 100 pages long, and most of those pages are meant to be photocopied for student use, giving you lots of ideas to choose from. The Greek book has instructions for 9 separate pockets, each offering several activities on a different theme of Ancient Greece, including Daily Life, Religion, Military Power, Art & Architecture, Government, Sports & Entertainment, and more. Most of the other books are arranged similarly. We love the easy projects--they are both easy to make and easy to keep!