The Early 19th Century Unit Study and Lap Book

by | Feb 20, 2013 | American History, History, Lap Books | 8 comments

The next topic in our series of six Unit Studies for American History (plus the Presidential Election Unit Study and we also plan to end with an additional unit on World War II) is based on The Early 19th Century.  I seem to be on a roll this week blogging about some of our (somewhat) recent history and geography studies, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to add this post too!  đź™‚   The boys started this Unit last spring and finished it up in the Fall (while working on their Election Study linked above) before moving on to The Civil War which they are currently completing.

Here is the link to the CD that contains all the printable mini-books that we used for our Lap Book!

Resources and Books for Unit Four: 
(you can print our Unit Four Plans/Booklist here)

Core Text 

Additional Books read by the Boys:

Dover Coloring books:

Timeline Entries:

  • 1734-1820 Daniel Boone
  • 1774-1821 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • c. 1787-1812 Sacagawea
  • 1786-1836 Davy Crockett
  • 1788 Second Constitutional Convention
  • 1791 Bill of Rights
  • 1792-1799 The White House (Lap Book) 
  • 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • 1812 War of 1812 – at War with Britain (Lap Book) 
  • 1817-1825 Erie Canal (Lap Book) 
  • 1832-1888 Louisa May Alcott
  • 1840s Oregon Trail (Field Trip) 
  • Feb 23-Mar 6, 1836 The Alamo
  • 1848-1849 The Gold Rush
  • 1846-1917 Buffalo Bill
  • 1847-1931 Thomas Edison (Lap Book) 
  • 1847-1922 Alexander Graham Bell (Lap Book)
  • 1860-1861 The Pony Express

I asked the boys to choose a few of the events from the list above to add to their History Through the Ages Record of Time timeline book during this unit.  The listings in bold are the ones that they choose to include this year.  Here are a few pictures:

  Timeline Entries by Captain

   Timeline Entries by Rascal 

Additional Activities:



The blue center page/flap addition contains the following mini book: 

The Covered Wagon
Behind each flap you will find various items that the pioneers needed during their trip West. 

On the Top Flap: 

The Barbary Pirates
The Famous Duel
Innovations of the Early 19th Century
On the Bottom Flap:

The Erie Canal

The White House

Indian Story Bag
The War of 1812
Pocketful of Presidents
The Center of Actual Lap Book Folder contains the Growth of the Nation Map. 

It looks like the boys are still in the process of creating their overlays, using transparency paper, showing “the Growth of the Nation.”  I think I need to add this project to one of their upcoming weekly checklists to finish up! 

I’m hoping that they can finally finish up their Civil War study by the end of this month, and then move on to the Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression while we are still working on the 3rd Quarter of our school year which will end in April.  At least we aren’t too far off track in our History Studies, despite how difficult it can be to squeeze in these “extra” projects!


  1. Anonymous

    Does that mean it's Snuggles' turn next? I'm curious to see what y'all did for C week on the Alphabet Path. Or did you post that already and I miss it? Amazing lapbooks as usual!

  2. Katie V.

    Unbelievable! How long does it take to complete one of these projects?

  3. Jessica Gordon

    No… You haven't missed it! I still haven't had a chance to round up all the pictures to compile the post for C Week. Now it's going to be a bit more challenging since it has been so long! 🙂 I have been working on it, and was hoping to post it this week, but I may not have it finished until next.

  4. Jessica Gordon

    It is so hard to put a time on these projects, Katie!

    I usually give the boys their checklists with reading assignments and timeline options first. Then, usually once I've had the time to print out all the documents they need, I start giving them the mini-books for the Lap Book. They are nearly done with their reading for the Civil War Study, but have been waiting on me to give them all the mini-books. (And I was waiting on more ink and paper!) I spent about an hour or two this afternoon printing all the documents (and collecting the supplies – i.e. File Folders etc) for both The Civil War Lap Book and the upcoming Industrial Revolution Lap Book. Now they won't need to wait for me…

    The mini-books vary in time. Some take much longer than others. Some end up being a quick review as they glue in the text, others require writing and/or illustrating on their part, but my boys love to work on these sorts of projects while they listen to audio books.

    Once all the mini-books are completed we spend an afternoon assembling the actual Lap Book. This usually only takes about an hour or so.

    I'd say if we spend some time on it every week we could finish a unit in 5-6 weeks, but it generally ends up taking us at least a semester (8-9 weeks).

    I am really just thinking "out loud" and can't say for certain how much time we spend, but at least this gives you a general idea.

    Now that my boys are older and have more demanding school work in general, the Lap Books have become an extra… I don't worry if they get to it every week, making sure that they focus on completing their Math, Writing Assignments, Latin, Science/Biology (a new addition for them this semester), and other Lang. Arts.

  5. Kerry

    Jess, how in the living hootenanny do you do all this? You are the most amazing Catholic mom and homeschooler I know. Your kiddos are adorable, you are organized, your baseboards are clean and your liturgical celebrations make me wish I was one of your kids just for a day! What a wonderful childhood they will have to remember in their adult lives, and they have a wonderful set of parents to thank for it.

  6. Anonymous

    I don't know how you do it!! So awesome!

  7. Jennifer Elia

    Jessica, this is amazing. You truly are gifted and we are blessed to know you. Would your girls be able to do this lapbook? I am just thinking about my own daughter and thinking it would be great for her, but didn't know if she were too young.

    Do you mind if I email a link to this page on your blog to friends? Take care and God bless. There is a very special place in Heaven for you, my friend.

  8. Amy Pak

    Wow, again, your children have done such a beautiful job with their artwork! I had a hard time choosing which image to post to our Pinterest board… Thanks again for sharing, Jessica!


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