Marcia Brim seems to be asking one question through all her worldview and history products: Why should we study history if it's only an elaborate list of names and dates? Instead of simply offering a textbook answer, however, she offers creative resources to help parents guide their children toward discovery of the reasons behind historical events and the ideas that fueled history's prominent figures.
Historical Fact Sheets provide yet another tool in this quest for answers. Essentially templates for mini-reports on everything from biblical events to great inventions to political movements and great literature, questions prompt kids to go beyond the surface of things, and understand the reasons behind historical events, as well as lessons we can learn from them.
Each fact sheet is one or two pages, and consists of a place to draw or attach a picture pertaining to the event studied, with a number of questions students simply answer on the lines provided. "Simply" may be a slightly misleading word: besides the basic facts (name of the event, approximate time period, etc.), students are asked to describe its effect on the people involved, what it teaches us about people, what it teaches us about God, as well as to provide a list of other resources.
The book is reproducible, and a CD-ROM with printable files is included, so your students can do multiple fact sheets of the same kind (though distributing the CD among your friends is illegal). The questions for each different type of fact sheet are tailored specifically to the type of event under consideration, so students are given a sense of the variety of history and the interconnectedness of events and people.
In the front of the book are some instructions for parents, as well as a brief explanation of the author's four-worldview overview (which covers naturalism, pantheism, monotheism, and polytheism). The purpose of Historical Fact Sheets is not (despite its name) simply to make sure kids know their history facts, but rather to help them think more in-depth about history and to see how it relates to the way we think and live.
A supplement for Tools for Young Historians, Historical Fact Sheets is a genuinely fantastic resource for students and teachers making their way through any history course. As Christians, our attitude toward study of any kind should be motivated by a desire for understanding, not simply knowledge, and this is an excellent way to guide your children to productive and critical engagement with the past.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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