History and North Carolina Alive!


I am excited about sharing History Alive and North Carolina Alive with you. I want to make sure that you do not confuse History Alive with the commerical product that is available via the internet. The online version is a textbook. My History Alive (copywritten 2003) is a year-long curriculum for 5th grade Social Studies. This is also true of North Carolina Alive. I am going to upload a sample of this book. If you are interested and would like more information, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

History Alive

As a fifth grade team, we are trying to help students relive the past in order to make better choices for the future. We began History Alive four years ago by introducing students to historical figures and placing them in historical simulations in order for them to “feel” a part of History. This is a high-intensity; integrated approach to learning that has students talking and parents applauding. From the Boston Tea Party to the Vietnam War, students are given the opportunity to live and breathe, taste, and react to historical events. Our school is a diverse, multi-cultural, family that loves to learn. Our team is very dedicated and constantly using our own resources to provide enriching activities for students.

Each week we front-load our students with information that will allow them to comprehend and participate in the History Alive activities on Friday. Using our Social Studies text and library books we share important facts that will allow our students to have a deeper understanding of each particular time in history.

On Fridays, we transform the gymnasium into a time capsule that takes us back to a specific time period from the American Revolution through Terrorism.  Although this can work in classrooms, having a large area to set up stations is ideal.  A typical Friday begins with a pledge to learn from our past mistakes.  Students then copy an agenda into their History Alive folders. Following a preview of the day, students watch a 20-30 minute video that sets the stage for History Alive.  They are given essential questions to answer during the video. While students are viewing the video, teachers are busily setting up stations.  Typically, we set up six stations to accommodate 60 students.  We are a team of three fifth grade teachers.  We plan three stations that are teacher-directed and three that can be self-led. Each History Alive lasts approximately 3 ½ hours.  This includes a video, six stations, journaling, a snack, and debrief. After lunch, students complete the day with a cooperative group recess (which helps them unwind and continue conversations about History Alive in a less-structured environment), and scrapbooking.

Historical Scrapbooking is a VITAL part of History Alive.  Using their notes, students complete a 4-page scrapbook page detailing their experiences.  This is assessed on creativity, accuracy, and attention to detail.  Each student is scored on his or her weekly improvement.  Other assessment includes a rubric from each teacher during a station, specific activities within a station, and cooperation.

Every Friday, our students take a pledge to go back in History and back in time to learn from our past and make better choices about our future. This experience will allow students to share their love of History with others.

History Alive Content

King’s Candy

Boston Tea Party

The Shot Heard Around the World

Declaration of Independence

Lewis and Clark

War of 1812

Trail of Tears

Oregon Trail/California Gold Rush

Underground Railroad

Civil War

Artisan Day

Colonial Christmas

Immigration/Ellis Island

Wright Brothers and Aviation


The Great War

Roaring 20’s

Great Depression/Stock Market Crash

World War II- Pearl Harbor

World War II- Holocaust

Cold War/Korean Conflict

The 60’s & Civil Rights

The 70’s & Vietnam War

The 80’s

North Carolina Alive: From Murphy to Manteo

4th Grade Simulation and Scrapbook Project

 On your journey to seek out historical & recreational places of interest you will:

  • Learn to write letters and ask for travel brochures.
  • Write postcards home detailing your adventure.
  • Learn of the geography, climate, culture, food, people, and animals of each county in North Carolina.
  • Discover the skills of early day pioneers and try them out for yourself.
  • Watch video and hear stories of North Carolina.
  • Trace the history of North Carolina from the early Indians up through the present day.
  • Keep a travel log of the miles you travel each day.
  • Put together a scrapbook of your travels.
  • Make a lighthouse at the end of your journey.
  1. While immersed in “North Carolina ALIVE”, you will take notes in your folder.  Make sure that you document every activity that takes place.  You will need this for your scrapbook later
  2. After each weekly trip, you will create a scrapbook page of your North Carolina travels.  Included in the scrapbook can be brochures, copies of letters you have written to businesses, pictures of you and your partners engaged in fun activities, details of the different centers you visited during the day, recipes, poems, mileage and food receipts, and your NC map.
  3. Final project will be the presentation of your scrapbooks for family and friends and a model of your favorite place in North Carolina.

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