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Explore Colonial America: 25 Great Projects, Activities, and Experiments Review by Karen Yuen

Verna Fisher
Nomad Press
2456 Christian Street
White River Junction, VT 05001

When my daughter asked if we could make candles, I thought it was a great idea, but how would we ever do it? Explore Colonial America! came to my rescue! This lovely book by Verna Fisher is full of projects related to the Thirteen Colonies--including candle making. The text is written so that it can be easily read by emergent readers, or it makes a wonderful read-aloud. Not only does the book do an excellent job of introducing children to the colonies settled by Europeans, but there are also fun projects about the Native Americans living there at that time. We liked this well-rounded perspective! 

The first thing that caught my attention was the wonderful black-line map included at the beginning of the book, designed as a coloring page. While the kids colored, I read about the founding of the colonies and the colonists' homes. Activities really cemented the information into our young learners' minds, and they even wanted to repeat some of the projects later! All of the projects were easy to do, used common household items, were quick to pull together, and were fun! The book is recommended for ages 6-9, but with modifications it could be used for earlier or later ages as well. 

There is an excellent glossary included that's perfect for creating vocabulary and spelling words. The resource section at the back of the book contains some wonderful supplemental titles to enhance your study. I really appreciated the clever list of museums that are included, which makes planning a visit to New England a must! Most practical and helpful for homeschooling parents is the list of websites, many of which offer additional hands-on activities, living history information, and additional reading material. 

I was delighted to discover that this book is part of a series! We're planning to utilize some of the other titles for other history studies in the future. If you have young, active, inquisitive learners, you won't be disappointed with this spectacular book!

Product review by Karen Yuen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010