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November Reading List: Native American Heritage Month & the History of Harvest Feasts

It’s November and here in the United States it’s Native American Heritage Month.  Thanksgiving also takes place on the third Thursday of the month. This year, it’s on November 24th.  The National Congress for American Indians describes Native American History Month: “The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways…

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Our Favorite Books for Festivals of the Dead!

No matter who we are, we all come into contact with death. People around the world have their own traditions to mourn and celebrate the loss of loved ones. Americans celebrate Halloween as a spooky day with monsters and creatures. Other celebrations of the dead around the world are quite different. Books are a great way to learn about other cultures and here are five of our favorites to learn about Festivals of the Dead around the world. Do you want to learn more about the History of Halloween and other Festivals of the Dead? Check out our Halloween Unboxed…

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Ancient Eats: An Edible Exploration of the World…coming soon to a bookseller near you!!

Go on a mouth watering journey through the ancient world with this family-friendly cookbook. Each of the more than 100 recipes is inspired by delicious historical dishes and adapted for ease of preparation in the modern kitchen.  Taste your way through 18 cultures as you feed your mind with mythical origins and the historical significance of food around the world and across tens of thousands of years. Make tamales like the Olmecs in Mesoamerica and curry like the people of the Indus Valley Civilization of India. Enjoy feasts, drinks, desserts, and simple snacks as you read about their ancient origins.…

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Would you like to be a part of our new publishing team? Our advanced readers get ebook previews, goodies, and a chance to review titles before they are available to the public. You can help us get the word out about History Unboxed titles by leaving reviews on our website, Amazon, and Goodreads.  To join our team, fill out the form below to subscribe to our Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) email list! Subscribe * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name Address Address Line 2 City State/Province/Region Postal / Zip Code Country USAAaland IslandsAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntigua And BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Saint…

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6 Episodes of Doctor Who for History Lovers

If you are searching for Doctor Who episodes for history lovers, you might be a Whovian. Just in case you don’t know, a Whovian is a fan of Doctor Who, the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey British sci-fi show.  As the Doctor travels through time and space, they often come into contact with famous historical figures or historical events on Earth.   What are your favorite episodes? Here are a few examples of Doctor Who episodes that you can tie into your history study:  Season 4: Episode 2: The Fires of Pompeii (79 AD/CE, Pompeii) The Doctor and his companion, Donna, travel back in…

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The Benefits of Hands-On History Activities

Why Choose Hands-On Learning for History? You might have ended up here because you were looking for hands-on history resources.  But have you ever thought about why this style of learning is so important? Sure, it’s fun. But is it effective? Short answer: Yes! Children learn better when they have hands-on interactions with learning materials. Students who learn through hands-on activities develop a deeper understanding of the material. They remember more facts when they use hands-on materials. When students use more than one of their senses, they are better at finding meaning. This helps them remember more. Multi-sensory experiences build neural…

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5 Gifts for History Lovers

Did you know that we have been featured on the History Channel’s list of Holiday Gifts for History Lovers?  Let’s take a peek at some of our favorite gift-giving options. These five gifts for history lovers are sure to please! Give a Gift Subscription Give the gift that keeps on giving with one of our gift subscriptions! You choose the timeline and length of the subscription. Gift subscriptions are only available for a limited time! Gift Options: Ancient History, Middle Ages History, or American History Subscription Length: 1-12 months   Give a Gift Certificate Not sure which box they’d like…

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Native American Heritage Month Teaching Resources

November is Native American Heritage Month.  In our American history boxes, we talk about the role of Native Americans in every box.  It’s only right. We need to talk about Native American history all year long, but next month is a perfect time of year to do a deep dive. Here are some resources for appropriate and respectful study.  Discussing appropriate terminology:  When discussing Native American cultures, it is always best to use the specific name of the group or nation you are talking about.  If you are discussing multiple groups, preferences vary.  There is no single answer to which…

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5 Ways to Bring History to Life in Your Homeschool

Are you looking for ways to bring the study of history alive in your homeschool?  Hands-on learning sparks student engagement and motivation. As homeschool parents, we love anything that brings kids to the table ready to learn! Read on for five fantastic ways to make history exciting for your learners through hands-on learning.FoodMaking and eating rock candyEveryone eats!  Make the people of the past more relatable by sampling some of their favorite dishes.  Sample fruits and vegetables native to the region you are studying.  Visit a restaurant featuring the cuisine of the country you are studying. Search for traditional recipes and…

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The History of Valentine’s Day!

Contributed by guest author, Grace Sammons Vintage engraving Amour tire de l’Almanach des Muses de 1807 (Love pulls from the Almanac of the Muses of 1807) As we enter the season of rose bouquets and heart-shaped candies, I thought it’d be interesting to share the not-so-lovely story about how Cupid’s holiday came to be what it is today. The history of Valentine’s day is a bit patchy, with not a whole lot of specific details, but the story is definitely worth a share. So, to start out this story, let’s journey back to 269-270 A.D. during the reign of Roman…

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Happy Ground Hog Day!

(courtesy of Guest Author, Grace Sammons) Groundhog, groundhog, in your burrow, do we get to spring forward or will you see your shadow? With spring just around the corner, it’s that wonderful time of year where we look to our furry forecaster, the groundhog, to see if spring is here early or if we have 6 more weeks of winter. So why exactly do we do this? It’s actually quite an interesting story! Groundhog Day is a very old annual tradition dating back to 1887! The unique holiday is celebrated on the 2nd of February each year and it is…

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History… Gone to the Dogs! (Part 1): 4 Furry Friends from Ancient Greece and Rome

I might be a little bit obsessed with dog breeds.  About a year ago, I found myself looking for a new dog.  Given my background in research, it might not surprise you that I spent quite a bit of time reading about different breeds.     I made a spreadsheet with our criteria and assigned a point value to each category, then ranked my top 25 breeds from most compatible to least compatible. (We ended up with a collie, if you’re curious).  All this to say: please make sure that when you choose a dog, you make sure you understand the…

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History… Gone to the Dogs! (Part 2): 5 Furry Friends from Ancient China

I’m still on my imaginary, time-traveling quest for the perfect dog. Today, I am headed to Ancient and Medieval China.   I am going all the way back to The Qin dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for Qin state, where it began, the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The Qin Dynasty unified China and created The Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Army.  During the Qin Dynasty, the Shar Pei appeared. Shar Pei were bred as fighting dogs and continue to be…

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Sugarplums! Recipe for a Victorian Holiday Treat

In the Victorian era, sweets made of dried fruits, with nuts, spices and sugar, were special holiday treats. These “sugar plums” were carefully prepared and then put in cones of festively colored paper to hang on the Christmas tree or packaged in pretty boxes for gifts. To create a special treat, and give yourself a taste of history, try our Victorian Sugarplum Recipe. You Will Need: A pinch of ground cinnamon A pinch of ground nutmeg A pinch of allspice 1 teaspoon of orange zest 1.75 ounces of crystalized ginger, chopped 2 ounces of chopped almonds 2 ounces of chopped…

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Fashion and History: 7 Fun Facts!

Courtesy of Guest Contributor, Grace Sammons . As the saying goes, everything old is new again. . Fashion is one of those things that has been, and always will be, relevant. No matter how many new trends there are, clothes are something we use each and every day. Fashion is always evolving, but sometimes something that seems new to us, isn’t really all that new. Fashion tends to repeat itself. A lot of the trends we know and love today, were the same trends that our grandparents loved too! In this post, I thought it would be fun to share…

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Gross and the Glorious: History Hygiene Habits

Ewwww!!! or Ahhhh!!!???  Although popular in some ancient cultures, bathing fell out of favor in Europe during the Middle Ages. (Imagine how you would smell after a few days, not to mention a few months!)  You see, people believed bathing was a health risk. They didn’t understand how germs spread and thought disease could enter the body’s pores from sitting in dirty water.  The Church did not help the cause of personal cleanliness either, concluding that bath houses were dens of sin.  While it didn’t stop Charlemagne, it stopped plenty of other people from regular bathing.   For starters, for your…

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The Story of Jack (AKA, Mr. O’Lantern)

Photo by Beth Teutschmann on Unsplash With October coming to an end, for many people, it’s time to carve pumpkins into Jack O’ Lanterns. Have you ever wondered where this fascinating tradition comes from? In this post let’s take a dive into the history of the Jack O’ Lantern. It all starts with an Irish folktale called The Legend of Stingy Jack.  So who exactly is this “Stingy Jack?” As the story goes, Jack lived in a small Irish village. He was known among the villagers as a drunk and not a very nice person. In fact, the Devil himself…

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Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

by Stephanie Hanson Happy Indigenous Peoples Day! Or, as you might call it where you live, Columbus Day.  Why are some areas changing the name of this federal holiday? Let’s take a closer look at Christopher Columbus and find out!  When you were growing up, did you learn a poem about how “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue?”  The poem goes on to describe the very nice Arawak natives and how Columbus was brave and bright. You might have learned that he was “brave and bright” because he believed the world was round when everyone else…

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Game of Thrones Unboxed!

by Stephanie Hanson Unless you have been hiding under the proverbial rock, you have heard of the television series Game of Thrones. Known for its high body count and fantasy setting, the series is widely popular. But did you know that Game of Thrones is based on the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R.R. Martin? And, did you know that Martin was inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Hmm… check out those middle initials!) and the War of the Roses, as well as other historic events. Want to have a little fun?!!! Let’s…

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STEM, History and Penicillin…What?

by Carol Bettencourt, History Unboxed Marketing Manager There is a lot of talk these days about the value of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – in education. Proponents of a STEM-based education argue that: >       To remain competitive, countries must educate their next generation of innovators, engineers and scientists. >       Job prospects and income tend to be higher for those with STEM-based degrees. >       STEM skills are essential to solving lots of the world’s problems, such as environmental changes and an expanding population. All of these things are true,…

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Five Ancient Civilizations You (Probably) Never Studied in School

When I was in 5th grade, we had an Ancient Greece festival. It was a lot of fun, especially since I pretended to be the Oracle at Delphi and told fortunes to all my classmates.  We talked about ancient Greece during several different grade levels at school.  I think we also studied the Egyptians and Romans in elementary school. In high school history, we learned about ancient history in Mesopotamia, India, and China.  Taking a peek at today’s standards in the state where I live, not much has changed. Imagine, when you go beyond the range of Alexander the Great’s…

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