I love history and I love teaching history. There is just so much to learn from the past. We were recently sent 4 books from the If You Were Me and Lived In... series Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com to review.
We are currently studying American History and the first book we read aloud was If You Were Me and Lived in ... Colonial America. This was the perfect book to tie into where we are in our studies. I had the boys sit and listen. The book is written as if a child is talking to you and telling you what life would be like if you were him. We learned of the hardships the people of that time would face and what life would be like for kids and their parents.
Next up we read If You Were Me and Lived in...The American West. This documents the traveling in a wagon on the Oregon Trail. We learn about how they ate, dressed and the trials they faced. The book did mention that there were hardships like sickness and Indian attacks but this particular group traveling did not face any of those things.
We were also sent If You Were Me and Lived in ... The Middle Ages which takes you through life during that time including the importance that church played with the people. If You Were Me and Lived In...Renaissance Italy focuses on the Renaissance and the importance of that rebirth. Children were taught in the home and life differed for the boys and girls.
The way the series work is that each book starts out with an idea of what today looks like then transports you back to the time frame it is looking at. We are reading from the eyes of a young boy. We learn about his dress and his sisters clothing, about how they were educated and fed. We learn about the hard work they had to do along with a glimpse of their parents life as well. Things were tough and these children faced many life obstacles. From education and grueling physical work to the fear of sickness and how devastating that could be. The nice thing is that these books don't go too deep into the heart ache and quickly move along from the subjects but do give a real picture of what the times were like.
For me I found the wording to be a bit odd. The phrase "If You Were Me" is repeated many times. However my kids really enjoyed these books. They even had a giggle at a particular part where the little girl on the frontier had to collect buffalo chips to start the fire. In the back of the books there is a glossary and some biographies of famous people from that time. I used this as a sort of jeopardy game with my big kids. I would give the clue and they had to guess who the famous person was. We had fun doing this. I feel like they liked this supplement and would happily have sat through more books in the series. Overall I felt like these were a nice overview of each time period in history and do give a clear picture of life for children from the past. I think you will enjoy adding them to your history lessons.
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