The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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History Quick: The Pony Express Bundle Review by Melissa BontadelliGail Masinda
History Quick: The Pony Express Bundle is a digital storyboard that uses colors and cartoons to bring pieces of history to life. The Pony Express Bundle can be used as a stand-alone unit study or as a supplement to a full history curriculum. The Bundle comes with a PowerPoint slide show, an activity pack with eight activities, and a quick explore guide that gives you different resources and information about the Pony Express. The entire bundle sells the $24.15 on Teachers pay Teachers.
We used this in our classroom as a supplement to our regular history curriculum. It fit in nicely with our study of that period and added depth to the light touch the Pony Express typically gets. We first studied the time frame around the Pony Express and then broke from our regular curriculum and used the bundle like a unit study. We watched the slide show first, then as we did activities, we would read from the explore guide.
This product worked well in our environment. My students are used to taking breaks from their regular curriculum and using unit studies or read aloud to complement what we are currently learning. Having a complete package, like the Bundle, fully put together helped tremendously with planning and time management. Typically, I spend time researching and putting together two or three resources to do what Gail did in the bundle. Another positive is the bright colors and cartoon figures. Sprinkled throughout the bundle are historical photos rounding out the picture of what life was like along the Pony Express routes.
The font used in the Bundle was distracting. I usually love interesting fonts, but not in large blocks of text. The activities were across the board in difficulty. Since homeschooling families often teach history to multiple ages, it would have been nice to have tiered activities or recommendations for modifications. For example, my older student enjoys acrostic poems. When he first learned what they were, he wrote acrostic poems for days. My younger student does not know what an acrostic poem is. The activity for acrostic poems was wonderful and fun to find in the Bundle, I just wish it was described more for younger students, so they understood what it was and maybe even a shorter one for them to try.
If the Pony Express is something that your students are curious about and would like to learn more about, I would recommend this as a unit study. There is plenty of good and detailed information contained in the Bundle. I would recommend if you are teaching multiple grades that you are prepared with activities for either the younger or older ones depending on their grades.
Product review by Melissa Bontadelli, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2020