My First Report: My State is a 68-page packet that guides your child to research the topic at hand. The pages are 3-hole punched, so this will fit right into a 3-ring binder to make keeping up with your packet simple. The packets is designed to teach:
- Writing skills
- Use complete sentences
- Ask for help when needed
- Report using correct facts
- Use adjective and adverbs
- Appropriate vocabulary
- Illustrate reports
- Where to find required information
The packet is broken down into sections: several pages with several questions and vocabulary words, unit studies with activities and resources, and lined master sheets that can be used to write the reports. These pages also include boxes for illustrations and pictures. The first section is 12 pages long, and covers the following:
- State History
- State Symbols
- Public Life
- State Natural Resources
- State Geography
- State Climate
- Famous People
- Well-Known Places
- State Cities
- People and Jobs
- Culture and Events
The pages ask between 5-7 questions, and has only a few vocabulary words per page. The report is designed to be done once per week, and completed in a quarter. This is perfect since the questionnaire section is 12 pages. I think the vocabulary is better suited to the older students completing the report, as most are rather long, and I can’t see many 1st and 2nd graders writing them. However, they would be good for discussion time.
The Unit Study section is 26 pages long. It’s got lots of activity ideas, y’all. The activities cover:
- History/Geography/Social Studies
- Physical Education
- Field Trips
The Resources section itself is 4 pages long and includes children’s books, music and audio recordings, and parental resources, and often includes the age range for each resource. There are also lists of U.S. States and territories, their capitals, nicknames, and when they became states. Finally is a list of presidents that is current up to President Obama that includes the years they served and their Vice Presidents; presidents who died while in office are italicized.
The lined sheets are ruled in 5/8-inch, half-inch, and 3/3-inch lines in order to accommodate beginning and experienced readers alike. If your child(ren) isn’t writing yet, the reports can still be done orally.
My goals with this were to use it with Issac (11), and at least 3 times per week. He is my thinker and researcher, and I figured this would be right up his alley. We are on Summer break, so I wasn’t going to push getting it finished. We go to the library only occasionally, and don’t own any encyclopedias, so our most-used resource for answers was the internet. Due to the time of year, I actually did a lot of research myself. I enjoy research now that I’m grown (I hated stuff like this when I was young), and it was fun to learn more about our area. Occasionally I would ask Issac a question out loud and have him look it up for me. You’ll need separate paper to take notes for your report unless you want to photocopy the lined sheets. It was really nice to have a pre-made set of questions to work with in order to gather information for a state report. This is the first page of questions. As you can see, the writing is nice, large, and easy to read!
Of course, the first people here were “Indians” (Native Americans). The first were Woodland, but the Cherokee settled here in East Tennessee. Most people who are originally from this area have at least a little Cherokee blood in them, including our family! (You can’t tell by looking at my husband and our daughter, though. They have nearly paper-white skin)
I didn’t set aside any set time to work on our research, but I did make an effort to remember. We did spend about an hour each day working on answering the questions. I think the length of time it takes to complete each set of questions really depends on the age of the person putting the report together. It may take you more or less time than someone else. There are 20 My First Report Topics offered, so you can get several years’ worth of work from 1 resource. I love that! I plan for us to finish up the State report after we start school for the new year, and I definitely want us to do some more reports as well. For $9 a pop, the price is definitely in our budget, and I can divvy the questionnaire pages up between the kids. Stop, Collaborate, and Listen! If you’d like to work on research skills with your children, definitely check out these My First Reports that Hewitt Homeschooling offers!
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