Sing with me now…“Born on a mountain top in Tennessee/greenest state in the land of the free/Raised in the woods so he knew ev’ry tree/kilt him a be’are when he was only three. Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier!”
I have to admit, The Ballad of Davy Crockett pretty much summed up the extent of my knoweldge of this frontiersman. That is, until YWAM Publishing allowed me to pick a book to review. Since I was already familiar with their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series, I knew I wanted to select one from the Heroes of History series. After looking at the titles, one stood out immediately. Heroes of History – Davy Crockett: Ever Westward.
When the book arrived, I kept getting “Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier” stuck in my head. I think my kids thought I was crazy until I pulled up a YouTube video to show them it was a real song! 😀
What the Book Covers
This book covers the life of Davy Crockett. It’s written as a story, which made it much more interesting to read to the kids.
I learned a lot about Davy while we read, and discovered:
- How he got to be such a good marksman
- Why he left home early
- What a hard worker Davy was
- The scope of his political career
- Why the west captivated him
- His bravery in battle
He really was a remarkable man of history!
Note: A word of warning if you’re reading this book aloud to anyone squeamish. Chapter two covers a makeshift surgery performed in the cabin, after a gunshot accident involving Joshua, the neighbor. I didn’t realize it was coming, and it was sort of gross. We made it through it, and it’s very matter-of-fact, but it is there. I can see why the recommended ages 10+ is there, and it’s not just for reading ability.
The Study Guide
In addition to the book, there’s a ton of material to extend your studies in the Downloadable Study Guide.
The teacher in me always enjoys checking out study guides just to see what’s in there. You’ll find:
- Discussion questions, including vocabulary words, for each chapter
- Suggestions for creating a display corner
- Reading Extension suggestions, including essay topics, arts and crafts, audio video, and hands-on projects
- Suggestions for field trips and community based learning opportunities
- Related themes to explore across different subjects
But, the book isn’t the only bonus material! There’s worksheets for the kids, with a fact sheet (see below), maps, and a timeline to fill in as you read.
You’ll also find guides for using the book and material in a small group, classroom, or homeschool. I was amazed at the amount of bonus materials. You could literally use everything to work through a 6-8 week long unit on Davy Crockett.
While you’re at it, you can learn part of the Ballad of Davy Crockett. Because all unit studies need a little music, right? 😀
I’m looking forward to really diving into the bonus material with the kids when they’re older. I think 4th-6th graders would be a great fit for the material! Of course, you can adapt it and use it with olders and youngers, but that’s a good grade band for diving into the writing, research based reading, and everything else.
But, we were able to do our own unit study of sorts as we participated in Between the Rivers. The kids shot arrows, tried to make fire, and learned all sorts of other hands on skills that Davy and those living in that era would have used!
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