Let's do a study about Trains!
Category: History
Tags: trains railroad history

Want to do a unit study on trains? Look no further! This 90 page download has everything you need!

Here's what you'll find in this comprehensive unit:
Railroad History
Railroad History Reading Comprehension
Railroad History Notebooking Pages
The Steam Locomotive
The Steam Locomotive Reading Comprehension
Earliest Railroads Map
Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (Map)
Railroads in 1870 (Map)
Railroads in 1918 (Map)
Railroad in 2005 (Map)
How a Steam Engine Works (Diagram)
Draw/Label Steam Engine Worksheet
Steam Engine Notebooking Page
Parts of a Steam Engine (Diagram)
Parts of a Steam Engine (Definitions)
Parts of a Steam Engine Worksheets
Railroad Communication
Railroad Communication Reading Comprehension
Lantern Signals (Poster)
Lantern Signals Worksheet
Railroad Signals & Signs
Railroad Signals & Signs Worksheet
Railroad Signals & Signs Notebooking Pages
Railroad Car Type (Flashcards)
Car Types (Uses)
Railroad Car Crossword Puzzle
Railroad Car Matching
Caboose was Home
Caboose was Home Reading Comprehension
Caboose was Home - A Day in the Life
Caboose was Home - Acrostic Poetry
Railroad Car Notebooking pages
Railroad Car Mini-Book/Cards
Railroad Jobs
Railroad Jobs Crossword
Railroad Jobs Notebooking Pages
The Value of Freight Railroads
The Value of Freight Railroads Reading Comprehension
American Hobo - What I Know
The American Hobo
American Hobo - What I’ve Learned
American Hobo Notebooking Pages
The American Hobo - Cinquain Poetry
American Hobo Symbols
Hobo Town Worksheet (Map Drawing)
Hobo Symbols Matching Worksheet
10 Railroad Research Project Ideas
Railroad Slang (Activity)
Railroad Slang (Poster)
Railroad Trivia
Railroad Graphics
Answer Keys

Download Club members can download @ http://www.christianhomeschoolhub.com/pt/National-Train-Day/wiki.htm

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Rubber People? MesoAmerican ballgame? What are those?
Category: History
Tags: Ancient history Charlotte Mason Elementary grades Bible civilizations


Olmec Civilization c. 1600 BC to c. 1000 BC

Another civilization appeared in southern Mexico around the same time as the Maya. This civilization is known as the Olmec and they settled on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico (in the current states of Veracruz and Tabasco) directly north of where the Maya lived. No one knows what the Olmec called themselves. The name Olmec comes the Aztec language and means "rubber people." They were given this name due to their mastery of the use of rubber.

The first real evidence that we have for the early stages of the Olmec culture comes from a bog called El Manatí in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. The Olmecs used this site from approximately 1600 B.C. until 1200 B.C. Archaeologists have discovered some interesting objects in this bog including wooden sculptures, ceremonial weapons, rubber balls, and babies' bones. No one knows how the babies died, but each set of bones has its own wooden sculpture. The wooden sculptures are busts (the torso, shoulders, and head of a human figure). Most of the the wooden busts were wrapped before being buried. Each one had an individual facial expression and each one was buried with different objects.

Also found in the bog were rubber balls buried together with axes, pottery, knives, beads, and more. These objects were carefully placed in specific patterns and not just thrown in a pile. The rubber balls were formed by taking natural rubber and changing its chemical makeup in a process called vulcanization. This process causes the rubber to be less sticky and hold its shape. The discovery of these rubber balls caused archaeologists to consider the Olmec as possible creators of the Mesoamerican ballgame. This ballgame was very popular among later cultures in that region. No one knows the exact rules, but the general idea seemed to be keeping a rubber ball in play by hitting it against a high wall with one's hip. This game was, of course, played for fun sometimes. However, given the elaborate ballcourts that were built, it is highly likely that the game had some ceremonial function as well.

A solid rubber ball used or similar to those used in the Mesoamerican ballgame, from Kaminaljuyu, 300 BC to 250 AD.With a manopla, or handstone, used to strike the ball, also from Kaminaljuyu, 900 BC to 250 AD.The ball is 3 inches (almost 8 cm) in diameter, a size that suggests it was used to play a hand ball. A mitten-shaped space has been carved out for the player's hand. The handstone was probably strapped in place. The far side of the stone is worn nearly smooth where it struck the ball, putting spin on it. Traces of rubber still adhere to the surface.
Photo by Madman2001


Category: History
Tags: Ancient history Charlotte Mason Elementary grades Bible civilizations

DO YOU KNOW WHAT DRAGON BONES ARE? If not, read this free excerpt below from Honour of Kings' Ancient and American History Book 1.


Ox scapula with a divination inscription from the Shang Dynasty, dating to the reign of King Wu Ding. Unearthed at Anyang, Henan Province. Held at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo by BabelStone 2011

The discovery of physical proof of the Shang dynasty happened because of an illness. Just before 1900, the director of the Imperial College in China (Wang Yirong) was sick with malaria. His doctor told him to take Long gu (Dragon Bones) as medicine. (Dragon bones are fossilized animal bones that are ground into a powder. They have high amounts of calcium, potassium, and sodium.)

Director Wang noticed that some of the bones at the pharmacy were carved with inscriptions. He believed that they might be early Chinese texts. He sent his assistant to find out where the bones came from and eventually, it was determined that the origin was a little village named Xiaotun. This site is now called Yinxu and it is located on the west side of Anyang city, China. Yinxu is located just north of the Yellow River and is believed to have been the last capital of the Shang dynasty of China.

In 1917, Wang Guowei was able to decipher the portion of some writing on the bones that contained the Shang kings. This allowed him to construct a genealogy which was very similar to list found in the history of China written by the Grand Historian Sima Qian. This caused archaeologists to become even more interested in these bones.

Historians soon called these bones "oracle bones" because they contained information about the Shang dynasty of China. The oracle bones were formed when a king or his magicians would use a hot poker to produce cracks in a turtle shell or cattle shoulder bone while they asked a question which they wanted answered. They would look at the cracks to see if they had gotten a favorable or unfavorable answer to the question. The engravers would then carve the question, the answer, and sometimes even the result into the bone or shell. From these oracle bones, archaeologists have learned that the Shang dynasty had a well-developed and organized written language.



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