Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Are your kids interested in rescue missions? Several of mine are, and they’ve had a blast learning more about real life rescues and the surfman crews who completed them with Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities from Rebecca Locklear.
What Is This Product?
A digital product, you’ll find 120 pages of information and activities to help your family learn more about the Life Saving Services in the United States.
There are 17 student workshops that your family can explore. The lessons are geared for kids in grades 4-12, but we found they were easily adaptable for kids of all ages. Some of my younger kids enjoyed sitting in and listening to the information.
In each workshop, you will find a variety of activities. There are over 100 different activities to help reinforce learning.
Since my husband served at sea in the US Navy, my kids really enjoyed learning more about ships used during this time period. They compared images from the workshops like these:
to pictures my husband has of huge aircraft carriers and other modern ships. They were amazed at how much smaller these old ships were.
You can work through this product straight through, or do what we did and jump around a bit. At the beginning, there are pages and pages of information about the history of the life saving services and the men who served. I printed this out and read it aloud to the kids, a few sections at a time.
This gave us the background information we needed to complete the activities. So if you do jump around a bit, I highly recommend taking time to read that first.
What Kinds of Activities Are There?
In this book, you’ll find so much variety. There are activities that will appeal to students with different learning strengths. There are culinary activities to help students learn more about foods from this time period, and what the surfmen ate.
There are art activities, with several ideas for each to inspire your kids to make something awesome.
You’ll find writing activities, such as this one, asking students to make an acrostic poem about surfmen and put it on a colorful background. Here’s the poem one of my older kids created.
There were matching games. And scripts for skits to put on. It was incredible how much variety there was.
One of the wild animals surfmen might interact with were skunks. There was a fun unit to help us learn more about these creatures. We have all had the real life opportunity to smell these animals, as there are several of them on our farm.
Despite having smelled a skunk, one of my kids really wants a deodorized skunk for a pet when she grows up. She thinks they’re so cute and read that they are very loyal and smart.
She really appreciated the unit about these furry creatures. As part of this, there was a story about kids who went trapping in the olden days. The brother was excellent at skinning skunks, and they worked together to sell the skins to help provide for their family.
After checking the traps one evening, the pair accidentally dropped the bag of skunks. This jarred the glands and they got skunked. Then, they had to go to school the next day and the teacher had everyone work outside because of the smell.
Throughout the story, there were stopping points for the kids to stop and draw a quick picture of what they just listened to. Here’s what one of my kids drew. The words in the final square are the Latin words for skunk. In the story we learn that this means double foul odor. We all thought that was appropriate!
How We Used This Product
We took about a week to read the information about surfman and the rescue service they provided. Then, we did a couple of activities each week. We still haven’t done them all, and are looking forward to doing more of them in the weeks to come.
You can make these lessons as long or as short as you want. You can watch YouTube videos to learn more, or do more in-depth work on the projects.
Rebecca Locklear worked hard to create an amazing resource, and we’re so thankful we were able to review it. This topic isn’t one that I would have thought to teach about, and it was an important part of US history.
What We Thought
My family really enjoyed learning more about maritime rescues. They thought the projects were a fun way to show what they’d learned.
Many of the activities work best in small groups, so if you have only one child in your homeschool, you may need to do more altering of the lessons.
We definitely recommend this product.
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