Sunday, November 25, 2012

TRISMS History's Masterminds

Do you have a middle school aged student?  Are you looking for a curriculum that covers multiple subjects that they can work on independently?  If so, listen up!

TRISMS History's Masterminds is an award-winning middle school curriculum that covers World History, Language Arts, Geography, Literature, IEW, and more, from 3500 BC to Present.

Why is this curriculum unique?  TRISMS uses a format of integrated study where all subjects focus on a point in time.  It focuses on the people involved in important historical events and discoveries rather than just focusing on events or dates. 

Here is what is included:

Teacher's Manual and Answer Key - includes the orientation, research guide, literature helps, reading list, research timelines, lesson plans, science assignments, worksheets, quizzes, and tests.

Student Assignment Book - includes the research guide, literature helps, research timelines, lesson plans, science assignments, language assignments, poetry selections, and IEW assignments.

Student Pack/Test Packet - includes all research questionnaires, worksheets, maps, quizzes, and tests.

Here is how it works:

The lessons are presented on a two-page spread.  Below you can see a Lesson Plan Explanation Page.  It seems a little confusing at first, and to be honest, it was.  I spent quite a bit of time studying this explanation page and using it to understand the lesson plans in the book.  For further help, their website offers a Lesson Walk-Through.


The key portion of both the student book and teacher's manual, in my opinion, is the Research Guide.  The student will be doing a lot of independent research and the guide is a short lesson to help prepare and develop their research skills.

For instance, the lesson plan may list an invention or explorer and then refer the student to the Questionnaire in their Student Pack.  They would then do the research on their own and answer the questions.  Below are a few sample questionnaires.


The Lesson Plans are organized so the student is working on different things each day of the week.  One day they may be defining words, the next they are researching an explorer, and another day they could be drawing a flag or locating places on a map.

History's Masterminds includes 38 lessons which can be completed in either one or two years.  Many students find it more enjoyable when extending it over a two year period, which allows more time for them to focus on their favorite subjects. 

My Thoughts:  History's Masterminds is a meaty curriculum!  It did take me some time to understand the format of the lessons, but once I did, I could see how this could be a wonderful curriculum.  I love how it teaches the students to become independent self-directed learners!  That may be the aspect of this curriculum that I like the most.  I also find it interesting that the focus is on people rather than events.  Lastly, I like that it incorporates World History with Language Arts, Geography, Literature, and IEW.  

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at TRISMS Curriculum.  History's Masterminds is geared for middle school students (grades 4-8).  History's Masterminds 2012 Edition includes the Teacher's Manual & Answer Key, Student Book, and Student Pack for $235.  Go here for the Scope and Sequence.  If you would like to learn more, you can order a FREE History's Masterminds Demo Book

Disclosure:  This product was given to Our Homeschool Reviews for free for review purposes, and I do not have to return the products to the vendor.  I have received no compensation from it and all opinions and experiences within this review are my own.

3 comments:

Catherine

You have the knack, Christine!
No sooner do I hear about a product from a friend, only to find you've done a review. It's happened more than once! (tee, hee!!)

Thank you for your review. I'll let my friend know that the TOS crew have reviews ready for us BOTH to read! :)

Our Homeschool Reviews

That is great! I'm so glad that the review helped!! And what great timing!!

Barb

My 6th grade son is using this curriculm this year. He loves it because its not borning and I love it because he can work independently allowing me to work with my daughter who is in kindergarden.

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