Monday, May 26, 2014

American Girl Unit Studies: Caroline

We are studying our way through the American Girl historical characters as we learn American history. So far we have covered Kaya and Felicity and now we are ending this school year with Caroline. So far everyone has thoroughly enjoyed this approach to history, so we'll be picking this back up in the fall!

I've coordinated these units to work with the history sentences we are memorizing with the Classically Catholic Memory program. (I'm blogging about that too!) Caroline lines up with week 18 of gamma year.

Caroline Unit Study

Caroline is the newest AG historical character. In the past AG produced great supplemental resources for their dolls, things like cookbooks, craft books, and non-fiction historical books. However, now that Mattel has taken AG over, these gems are no longer being created. It's kind of sad. And it made the creation of the unit a bit more tasking, but no less fun!

Fiction Books
Bean happily read the following books to get the unit underway.

Six Book Boxed Set
The Traveler's Trick
Traitor in the Shipyard

*Coming in August 2014: Beforever Journey Series

Usually we also read some non-fiction supplemental books, but AG has not produced any such products and there aren't really children's books on the War of 1812.

I don't believe a Caroline lapbook is available for download, so we had to create our own. I used some of the basic templates from Homeschool Share's free American Girl templates and made the rest of the books using their free lapbook templates. You can insert text boxes onto PDF documents, which is how I put them together.

Bean also decorated the lapbook with pictures that she cut out from an American Girl catalogue. In the past we have used American Girl stickers as embellishments, but Caroline is to new to be in the set.

Timeline and Map
The absence of Caroline in the sticker pad also posed a problem for our timeline and map. So, we again turned to the AG catalogue to find replacements.

Eh, Caroline is a bit of a giant compared to the others, but it's better than nothing!

And Caroline found her home by Sackets Harbor, New York, right on the shores of Lake Ontario where she grew up. You can see it right above her head :).

Food options that we found in the books include:
  • Ginger Cakes (but we don't like molasses)
  • Stuffed Whitefish (not gunna happen)
  • Lima Beans (tourture), 
  • Cabbage and Apples (we could have gone for the apples, but cabbage?), 
  • Carrot Pudding (pudding is supposed to be good), 
  • Apple Pie (yep, feeling too lazy)
  • Burnt-Sugar Cake (I feel like this would need to involve a mini blowtorch, but maybe that's just me)
  • Biscuits and Honey (YES! There it is! Something I could handle during our last week of school!)

Meet Caroline, Page 62: "She and Caroline were sitting in the kitchen, watching Seth gobble up warm biscuits and honey" (Thank you Seth.)

Thanks to this handy-dandy Caroline Color and Craft book, the craft portion of our unit was a cinch. It's provided hours of fun and a cover for our lapbook.

For Christmas a few years ago Bean received a Caroline Paper Dolls set. This was the perfect time to pull them out again! Unfortunately it is now $50+ on Amazon because it is no longer being made. While it did keep the kids entertained for several stretches of time, it's not worth $50.

Online Games
And last, but not at all least, we played some online Caroline games at

Josefina is up next, and by next I mean early September when school starts again.

Be saints, it's worth it!


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