This week I would like to introduce you to Alicia from Vibrant Homeschooling. She is bringing you lots of fun ideas about how her family studied H is for Henry Ford. (I actually went to the museum in Michigan when I was growing up and so wish I had pictures to share with you.)
This week’s study of “H is for Henry Ford” reminded me of the fun (and learning) that can happen when we ask our kids for input and are willing to try some new ways to express knowledge.
First, we went to our favorite all-around online learning resource, BrainPop.com. We often start here to get basic info about a topic, and then branch out from there.
Henry Ford for Kids Writing Activities
Brain Pop didn’t have a video about Henry Ford, but they did have one about the assembly line (which we learned was Ford’s key to being able to mass-produce and dramatically lower the cost of the Model Ts, thereby making them a commodity for the everyman.)
There happened to be a few “for more information” resources attached to the video, and I had the older boys take notes from this and the video and then create a two paragraph essay about the Model T and the assembly line.
Seven-year-old Princessa dictated back to me what she learned from the video, and we came up with a few sentences together that acted as her summary (her writing practice for the day). Then she copied these sentences down on her lined paper (we worked handwriting practice in here too).
The Brain Pop movie had several other little activities and worksheets to do, such as a crossword, vocabulary section and a writing prompt. We ran out of time to do these, but they would be great to do!
Henry Ford for Kids Books and Movies
We enjoyed several books about Henry Ford. Some of these were read alouds; and some they read on their own. I especially liked the “easy reader” ones so that my seven-year-old daughter could read them herself!
After reading through them we had a casual discussion about what we learned. I tried to focus the questions around character, asking questions like: How did Henry Ford’s invention change the world? What obstacles did he have to overcome? What kind of character traits can we notice from his life? What lessons do you learn from this?
Here’s some good Henry Ford biographies we discovered:
Henry Ford for Kids Websites, Coloring Pages and Other Fun Stuff
The Model T Ford Club of Greater St. Louis Inc. has some nice coloring pages (there were four different Model Ts coloring pages here!) I also saw more Model T coloring pages here, and a coloring page of Henry Ford himself here.
Sites with Biographies/General Info:
Henry Ford: Father of the Modern Assembly Line
Henry Ford for Kids Activity:The Assembly Line In Action!
And then we decided to make our own assembly line of sorts.
I had this big idea to create an assembly line to put together some almond butter and jelly sandwiches (our lunch).
Because I wanted to both demonstrate how an assembly line works and demonstrate its efficiency, I challenged the kids to a race. I asked them: “Who do you think can put the sandwiches together first: the three of you in an assembly line; or me putting them together by myself?”
I’d like to tell you that we immediately began an intellectual discussion regarding the efficiency of assembly lines versus individual assembly.
But truth be told, they were fixated on one thing: Mom said we were going to race. Against her.
The little stinkers were just plain ecstatic at the opportunity to beat me at something. (Not sure where they get their insane competitive streak. Ahem.)
Nevertheless… the assembly line started!
With the stopwatch running, the kids went first, each doing their segment of the sandwich making.
Renaissance Man was on almond-butter-spreading duty and Princessa took her post as official strawberry jam applier extraordinaire.
The Innovator was off at another activity, so three-year-old Prince Charming filled in as the official sandwich-bread-pieces-putter-together (that’s a technical term, in case you were wondering). I’m not sure he fully understood what was happening, but he was just happy to be a part of it all.
Then I took my turn. I forgot to have the kids photograph me doing this. (Not that they would be riveting photos of me anyway—“here I am… making a sandwich!”. Pretty sure you know what that looks like).
The result? You guessed it. The assembly line sandwich making was done faster. They beat me by 13 seconds. Alright, truth be told I slowed down a little at the end to make sure they won, but hey I didn’t care as long as we demonstrated the point that assembly lines in general are a more efficient way to go.
Lastly, I let the kids build their version of a Model T out of play dough.
Here were their creations. Can you guess who built each one? Obviously there’s some artistic liberty going on here…. 🙂
All in all, we had a great time learning about Henry Ford!
We’d love to hear what ways you came up with to study about Henry Ford, the Model T and the assembly line! Or, try some of the ideas we mentioned and let us know how it turned out for your family!
Did you miss the other posts in this series? Click on the picture to find the other letters.
Come back next week to see what new resources we have to share while we learn all about the letter I during the ABC’s of American History.
Disclosure: Affiliate links were used by the post author to help support their blog. Thanks for checking out the resources they mentioned.
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