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Draw and Write Through History, Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots: A.D. 1492 – A.D. 1781 Review by Stacey Kalisz

Carylee Gressman
740 13th St.
Fennimore, WI 53809

Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots is the fourth book in the Draw and Write Through History series. This title includes cursive practice in the form of copywork, art (in the form of step-by-step drawing instructions), and brief history lessons (presented in chronological order). The topics in this book consist of Christopher Columbus, Australia, Pilgrims, Pirates, and the American Revolution (including Paul Revere and George Washington praying at Valley Forge).

Each section begins with instruction for creating a beautiful illustration. Drawings are provided for each step, progressively becoming more detailed. New steps are drawn in red so children can easily see what to do. Historical facts are peppered throughout the drawing instructions. These are usually a paragraph of interesting information about the subject being illustrated. Each section ends with a copywork page in Zaner Bloser font. This page is comprised of about 18 to 20 lines and is an overview of the time period studied (except the last section, which is an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence and is about 37 lines long).

The book is non-consumable and does not contain any pages to write on. Drawings need to be completed on paper or in a notebook. Lined paper for copywork is also necessary. I feel this book would be a useful supplement to any history curriculum. It is not a book that would be used from cover to cover within a matter of weeks, but rather something that needs to be perused and scheduled in advance.

At first glance, I felt the drawings would be too difficult for my children (who are 6 and 9 years old), but they actually produced very good illustrations. I found that they mostly copied the step-by-step pictures and relied very little on the written instructions (if at all).

Draw and Write Through History, Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots, is intended for ages eight and up. I feel this book would be challenging for eight-year-olds, and those who are not artistically inclined might become frustrated with it.

The written instructions are not extremely detailed. For example, the direction to draw a kangaroo’s face simply says “draw the kangaroo’s face.” No further information on how to draw it is mentioned. This is where the detailed illustrations are very helpful. The final instructions for shading and coloring often include more information, such as which colors to use and so on. I tried drawing a few of the items myself and was surprised at how well they turned out. Much better than if I had tried to draw them without the book. (Art is not my strong suit.)

Draw and Write Through History, Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots: A.D. 1492 – A.D. 1781 would be a beneficial history supplement for any curriculum and all homeschool styles and methods.

Product review by Stacy Kalisz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2010