Welcome to the Teacher’s Guide for Kaya’s American Girl Doll Unit Study. I made these teacher’s guides to use myself with my own kids because we needed a “gap year” in between our regular history curriculum. We’re just American Girl Doll fans, and I don’t work for American Girl.
These are fun, relaxed, multi-sensory studies designed for active kids and busy moms who don’t have a lot of prep time. We prefer literature-based curriculum, so as you can imagine…this curriculum is based around literature.
Download the FREE Kaya Lesson Plan Calendar to help you keep track of this unit and schedule in your other subjects. I printed this out for each child, penciled in our other subjects, and used it to check off what we do. You really need both things, and the calendar is in a handy, printable .pdf format.
You do not have to do all the crafts and activities. We did a lot more outdoors activities than crafts with Kaya compared to other units.
When I was planning these I found some activities for each unit but we chose our favorites, and some projects took much longer than others and ran through other girls’ units. For example, my daughter sewed a dress for the Felicity Unit and it took all of the Kaya, Josefina, and Felicity units to get it done.
Please read the full general instructions for the American Girl Doll Units for information about how to use this guide in conjunction with a full course of study, including other subjects (this is coming). These plans are customizable, or you can do them as written. You can download the free calendar to help you schedule everything or just check it off as you go.
I include foreign language in our homeschool. I think foreign language is best acquired in a bilingual environment, and you can do that even if you don’t speak a foreign language! Read The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language and follow tips for making your plans to include a foreign language in your home. It’s easy and enjoyable.
Four Days? Yes.
There are four days scheduled per week to allow time for a co-op, field trip, or other activities on the 5th day. Three weeks are planned out. The fourth week is optional and allows for catch-up or enrichment. The 4th week gives more information about what is going on around the world during the time period, so it can easily be skipped or included. For the same reason, if you want 5 days of study per week, pull activities from the 4th week. Or, you could spend the 5th day binge-watching all of the videos from the week, sewing, and cooking.
I chose books that are inexpensive and can be re-used year after year. Actually, they HAVE been re-used year after year by us!
Teacher’s Guides for the other American Girls use the same books (there are two Draw Write Now books), so if you buy them you can use them with the other units. The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age: From Victoria’s Empire to the End of the USSR is not used in this unit but is used in others.
The Kaya Unit uses a lot more video and a lot less reading than other units. This is due to the outdoor themes and due to the fact that most of the resource books don’t have a lot to say about Kaya’s historical period.
A teepee is easy to sew, but after looking at the cost of fabric, I bought a teepee from Target during a prior year so we re-used that. I also bought a teepee from Matilda Jane but the plastic pole-connectors broke really fast. 🙁 You could do a budget version from drop cloths or cheap sheets. For a no-prep no-fail solution, throw a bedsheet over a ladder and use your imagination.
Sew the Native American dress pattern. These are not beginner’s patterns, so I would only buy them if you know your way around a sewing machine, but the instructions are pretty clear as far as sewing patterns go. There are 20 patterns included – and there is a pattern for nearly every doll. The CD-ROM includes the printable patterns. There is no need to buy expensive fabrics and notions – use scraps and use what you have on hand if you prefer. If you are planning on making an outfit for several girls, this would be cost-effective because it includes so many patterns. Keep in mind that your child might like to try sewing an easier pattern.
The videos linked in this unit under each day’s plan are all in a playlist on my YouTube channel for your convenience. This made it really easy for us to watch the videos without having to constantly click and search around.
No page numbers are given for reading the American Girl books and other books with easy to find chapter headings. This allows flexibility to use whatever version of the books you have, and to read as much as your child is interested in that day.
If you are reading the new version of the Kaya book, plan to read the first third of the book this week. If you are reading the old versions of the Kaya book where they are separate books, you will finish the first book in the series. Other books are also suggested.
You can read about one chapter per day and stay on schedule to finish in three weeks.
If you are reading the new version of the Kaya book, plan to read the second third of the book this week. If you are reading the old versions of the Kaya book where they are separate books, you will finish the second book in the series.
You can read one chapter per day.
If you are reading the new version of the Kaya book, plan to read the last third of the book this week. If you are reading the old versions of the Kaya book where they are separate books, you will finish the third book in the series.
You can read one chapter per day.
Week 4 is optional. Use this week to catch up on any reading that you did not finish. You can also use this week to read related books that your children might be interested in. The first 3 weeks focus more on what was happening in the United States during this time period; the 4th week has more information about what was happening around the world.
If you are near Conner Prairie or another living history museum, or festival, you could take a field trip.
Any book on Native Americans available at your library
The Voyageurs. This is a 20-minute YouTube video about French explorers. It follows re-enactors and was fun to watch.
Like it? Questions? Talk to me.