Monday, May 6, 2013

Home School In the Woods Hands-On History Activity-Pak - Composers (TOS Review)

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Lap Books--I have heard so much about them and looked at so many samples and yet I've never taken the plunge until now. I recently was able to review one of Home School In the Woods lap books, Hands-On History Activity-Pak: Composers.


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Home School In the Woods believes that the best way for a child to learn or reinforce a topic is with hands on activities and projects. The projects in Composers lap book includes:
  1. Periods of Music
  2. Keyboard Vocabulary
  3. Collection of Composers
  4. Composers Timeline
  5. Pieces with a Purpose
  6. Music Appreciation
  7. "The Orchestra" File Folder Display
  8. Composer Cards
Projects 1-6 are included in the lap book and with these activities your student will cover 42 composers from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. Periods of Music are covered along with vocabulary words. Also. included are MP3 clips of 29 pieces of music from different 19 .different composers along with a Music Appreciation sheet that is filled in by the student. There are two additional activities included, "The Orchestra" file folder display along with composer cards.

The Composer lap book does not include lesson plans, but there is a resource page included with a list of books, music Cd's, and video suggestions.

When I received my download I opened it and read through the directions. The instructions are very explicit in telling you exactly what to print, how many of a page you need printed, and what kind of paper to print it on such as color, card stock, or both.

Since my printer hates card stock (it literally spits it out) I did have to spend some time saving pages to my thumb drive to take into Staples to be printed there. The brought in my own colored card stock for printing and only paid for the copying and the white card stock. This came around to just under $10.00 which covered for 2 lap books. Afterwards I came home and printed off the rest of the pages needed on regular paper.

The kids spent several days coloring the necessary pages using their favorite Prismacolor colored pencils before we started in on cutting everything out. I also started working on putting together the actual lap book with the file folder and additional papers needed. I do want to insert here that we are not very crafty here in our house. Usually, I run from all craft ideas that require a lot of cutting out and such. Since Destini is 13 the cutting out wasn't hard for her, but there was quite a bit of it. Chantry struggled more with cutting out things so I let him do more of the items that had straight lines and I did the more difficult pieces.

When we had most everything cut out then out came the glue sticks. It does recommend a glue runner, which I used for the pocket folders, but the rest of the book was glued together with  a glue stick.

By this time I had the lap books all put together and when they finished gluing the smaller items together then it was time to start gluing them into the lap books. When they finished this they had a complete lap book waiting for information to be added to it.

This lap book can be used as a unit study with the resource list and music that is included. Since we follow a Charlotte Mason approach and do Music Appreciation/Composer Study I felt that this lap book would be a wonderful addition to our music study and something that we will use and add to as we study different composers.

Since we recently studied Bach we listened to the Brandenburg Concertos No.3 - i: Allegro Moderato that was included in the study. Then the kids filled out the composer card recording the birth and death of the composer, country of origin, period of music, and composition and interesting facts. They then filled out the Music Appreciation sheet which asks for the composers name, title of the piece, period of music, interesting facts, and an area to write or draw what they imagined when they listened to the music.

We didn't get to "The Orchestra" file folder display and the Composer cards, though I have everything ready to be cut out and glued down. We will be putting the display together and cutting out the composer cards and I know these will also be a great asset to our music/composer study.

Home School in the Woods has put out an outstanding product. After doing this lap book I would say that it isn't something I would want to do very often, BUT  I would look at Home School in the Woods lap book first if I was looking to add a lap book to our studies.  I found their lap books to be fun and had just the right amount of writing involved. My non-writer hardly complained at all.

This lap book will give my kids a very nice keepsake to remember their study of composers. It will also be a great help to this mama when she gets stumped on which composer to study next. All I have to do is open the book and make a choice.

Home School in the Woods Hand-On History Activity-Pak - Composer is for elementary and middle grades and is available for download for $18.95 or on CD for $19.95.
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