Maybe you’re new to Catholic Schoolhouse, or are still weighing your options between different homeschool plans and could be asking yourself “What are these History Cards in the Store, and how do I use them? Do I really need them? What are they for?” Or maybe you have them and you’re wondering “How do I get the most from my History Cards?”
First, what are they? A set of History Cards includes 120 full-color cards designed to be used as flashcards. If you are using them with the Catholic Schoolhouse Tour Guide, they are grouped 5 per week to ease memory. Each History topic in the Tour Guide has an accompanying History card. One side of the card is a full-color image, while the other names the event and date and includes a description of the event and its relevance. Saints and Catholic events are included in the timeline. Cards are numbered on the back to make sorting easy. Fronts have pictures only to allow quizzing games.
Here’s a few awesome facts about these History Cards:
- They’re heavy weight card stock with glossy print
- They’re color coded to match each tour. Each Tour has a matching colored border. That way if your 2 yr old gets into your history cards and mixes them all up, you can tell your 7 year old to sort them by the color in the border.
- Once your 7yr old sorts them by color, they’re numbered in the bottom right corner so you can put them all back in order too.
- These cards are 4.25 x 5.5 inches, which makes them easy to hold and use for all sorts of purposes (see those ideas below)
- The pictures aren’t just any random picture. They are often real and historical artwork, so your students grow their knowledge of culture while viewing beautiful pieces of art for historical events.
- They’re CATHOLIC! You might have guessed that already, but CSH History includes the Catholic historical events and people, like the Battle of Lepanto, or the California Missions, or Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Ok, so they’re awesome but how do I use them?
- Read the backs of them when introducing the subjects. For younger students, just reading the back of the History Cards and memorizing the memory work is enough History.
- Use them for notebooking. Have your students fill out a History Timeline Notebooking Page, using the cards as inspiration for drawing in the boxes or writing information in the boxes from the backs of the cards.
- Display them in your school room. Use magnets to stick them to your board, string with clothes pins, cork board with paper clips. One mom even bought one of those restaurant ticket holders to stick these into! Keep them in front of your students all week by displaying them. Here’s a picture frame with twine strung across it and the history cards clipped inside with little clothes pins. Cute!
- If they’re displayed, use fun pointers to point at each history topic as you sing the songs
- Use them to play games. Scramble the cards up then see how fast your students can lay them out in order again. Keep adding more and more each week.
- Use them to let your kids play ‘trivia’ with them. One kid has the card and asks another kid a question about something on the back of the card. Take turns asking questions, then switch up the cards.
- Here’s a slightly more complicated game you can play with History Cards: You’ll need your history cards, and a pencil and piece of paper to keep score. Take a whole quarter’s worth of History cards and shuffle/mix them up. Draw two cards at random and place at the center of the table such that the title is face up. Then ‘deal’ out the rest of the cards evenly to each player. On your turn, choose one of the history cards in your hand to read aloud the title to the person to your right, making sure not to include any dates or years. You can show the picture making sure to cover the subtitle if it lists the year, and or read some of the information on the back if desired. The person to your right compares the card read aloud to the two cards already on the table and has to decide where in history the card read aloud falls. Does it fall before the earlier of the two cards, in between the two cards, or after the later card? They say their guess, and if they are right they get a point and that card is placed in the correct order in the center of the table. If they are wrong, the next person to the right gets to guess, and keeps going around. If no one can guess the correct placement, and it comes all the way around to the person reading the card- that person gets the point and places the card in the correct location on the table. In each consecutive round, the person guessing has to choose the correct place in the line up of cards on the table for the card read aloud to go. As the game progresses it becomes more and more difficult to place cards, since the timeline is being filled in. The person with the most points once all the cards have been played, is the winner!
If you already have your History Cards and want to make a nice home for them, check out my post History Card Box Building
If you don’t have History Cards, but are interested in adding these to your homeschool this year, get your own set at the CSH Store Page.