Hands-On - Any ideas for high school?

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Hands-On - Any ideas for high school?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:37 am

Missy OH wrote:One of the things I believe is missing from the highschool program (for our family) is some hands-on type projects. I have boys who like to do some projects w/ their assignments. Reading and writing about what they are learning all the time is quite boring to them. We don't need a ton. I am specifically thinking about US1 for the coming year. Would any of you have some ideas you can share with me that a teenage boy might enjoy for this time period?

thinking out loud with you.... (especially since I dont' have sons)

what kinds of things does he like? example, some boys like to cook (my brother was and still is one of them), so you could do cooking projects. maybe that book from 1850MOD again or have him look up what foods were common during time frame/location and make a meal of it once in a while.

does he like to do mechanics kinds of things? maybe some projects along the lines of inventors/inventions (nothing specific in mind on that)

is he into any politics? it's an election year... why not make it a hands on project to follow election, and/or get involved with a local candidate's campaign?

is he like my daughter and into gaming.. hmm... bet she could come up with something...

maybe he and some friends could perform one of the literature pieces (or scenes of it) as a play?
grab some thing to make recreations of wars/events and make a quick movie of it?

I'd probably go for 2-4 larger projects over semester/year instead of lots of smaller ones... except for the cooking...

but, I'm not sure any of that applies. I have US1 sitting there. (it wants a book case)... haven't done it yet and I don't know what kinds of hands on stuff he'd like and I dont'; have sons.


Missy OH
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Re: How can I make HS levels more hands-on?

Unread post by Missy OH » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:25 am


Thank you! The suggestions worked to turn our thinking caps on. My boys enjoy many of those things you listed.


Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Re: How can I make HS levels more hands-on?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Hi Missy,
I was brainstorming, too. But I was surprised to realize that my very hands-on son has really changed over the past 2 years of high school. He wants more info, and less fluff. I guess that's good. Kinda sad, but good. I actually have to pry him from getting his work done if I want to do a field trip. Like today, I had to promise I would sub our field trip for a science lab :) The one thing my ds likes to add in is movies and video lectures - he really likes those. And I would like to visit our local fort next year for school - they sometimes have war vets there to chat with.

I like Crystal's ideas of a big project or two like an elections project. Folks in my area also compete in the History Day competitions, not sure if that's an option near you. http://www.nhd.org/Contest.htm We also have a yearly display with our support group, and kids make various displays and projects.

Anyways, not a lot to add except that if you still have EX1850 around, there were a lot of fun things in there, recipes, etc. And the SOTW-4 Activity Book had little activities like comparing Enfield rifle loading to the modern style bullet, or something like that, which you might pull out. We also did some general handiwork in EX1850, like woodcarving and leather tooling. Vision Forum might be a resource for boys' activities, plus your local craft store with weekly coupon :)

US1 has a little of the usual timelining and mapping, if that helps?

eta: a few science-related ideas here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 993#p86505
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: How can I make HS levels more hands-on?

Unread post by CrystalM » Tue May 01, 2012 10:24 am

When two of my brothers were in high school they wrote a play about one of the wars (I think the Civil War) for their literature class. Then for their history class they put on the play and video taped it. There was some contest they entered and it was shown on our local PBS station. That would be an interesting thing to do if your sons are interested. They could contact a local historical society maybe for research if needed and do a similar thing. I remember my brothers having so much fun with it. They were not very academically focused kids (sports was all they could think about) but they got As for their projects which was a big deal for them.

Missy OH
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Re: How can I make HS levels more hands-on?

Unread post by Missy OH » Fri May 04, 2012 1:11 pm

Wow! Crystal, that is a really cool idea. I think we are going to join a hs group that has history fair and maybe they would enjoy putting a re-enactment together....... or us their stop motion animation to create a mini movie.

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