by Debbie Strayer & Linda Fowler
Paths of Progress is the third step on the Trail Guide to Learning. To grow as a country, another group of leaders had to step forward during our history—scientists and inventors. Study those who used their talents and abilities to answer questions that provided better ways of living and working. The lives of these devoted individuals and their contributions will be examined throughout our history, into the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of the 20th century. Primary science focus involves Physical Science (such as energy, motion, and work) and the economic impact of each development. Some key figures studied include Ben Franklin, Samuel Morse, George Washington Carver, the Wright Brothers, and Thomas Edison. This full one-year course is targeted for grades 5-7, but the lessons can easily be adapted for 4th and 8th grades, as well.
So pack your bags and prepare to travel through time and history with inventors and scientists as your guide!
Required student notebook pages are available for each grade level and are an integral part of this curriculum. Notebook pages provide maps, charts, space for copywork or dictation and any other template page needed throughout the year.
Digital downloads of all three levels (5th, 6th, and 7th grades) of the Student Notebooks are included. You can also purchase printed, ready-to-use pages.
An Extension provides additional assignments and activities for the age groups below. They do not stand alone, but are meant to be used alongside the main Teacher’s Guide. Ideal for use when there is at least one other child in the family in the target range (5th -7th).
Core Resources are used throughout the year in nearly every unit.
- Profiles from History, Volume 3
- Story of Inventions (2nd edition)
- Story of Inventions Answer Key
- Story of the Orchestra with CD
- H. Goodden Recorder
- Basix Recorder Method book with CD
- Modeling Clay Animals
- The Way Things Work Now
- Rummy Roots (Rummy Roots cards are used throughout the year. These are no longer available to us to resell. You will need to locate them from another source.)
- Classroom Atlas of United States (this atlas is out-of-print)
Check out our convenient Paths of Progress packages for significant savings. (Save both your time and money!).
If you have landed on this page and haven’t yet learned much about the Trail Guide to Learning curriculum series, we recommend you read the intro to Trail Guide to Learning. Then come back to see what Paths of Progress is all about!
- Sample Lesson, first week of Unit 1: Great Leaps (1.49 mb)
- Table of Contents for both volumes of the curriculum (94.5 kb)
- Skills Charts for each unit according to grade levels and topics studied (366 kb)
- Student Notebook Pages: 5th Grade Sample, first week of Unit 1: Great Leaps (651 kb)
- Student Notebook Pages: 6th Grade Sample, first week of Unit 1: Great Leaps (382 kb)
- Student Notebook Pages: 7th Grade Sample, first week of Unit 1: Great Leaps (734 kb)
- Paths of Progress ISBN List for all required resources used for the year (120 kb)
- Lesson At A Glance sample, sample planning charts for the first three weeks of the Growing Pains (231 kb)
- Trail Guide to Learning Series brochure, a complete 16-page brochure of the philosophy, presentations, and details of all three path levels of the curriculum
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For what grade levels was this curriculum written?
Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh
Can you adapt this program for older students if so, how?
You can use the Enrichment Activities included in the sourcebook to make it appropriate for a eigth grader. In addition to that, take them to the library and get whatever books you can find, or use the internet to find as much as they can on the unit topic (Revolutionary War, Civil War, etc.) and as they read their resources, have them compare (tell what is the same as our resources) and contrast (tell what is different from our resources). This is a good critical thinking idea. Another quicker and easier way to do this is to find videos on each topic that you think are appropriate and then compare/contrast them with what our resources have to say about these folks. Encourage your older students to share the information they find out with you. This is a good thinking/presenting skill, as well as a way to develop summarizing ability.
A High School Extension is also available to provide guidance for older students. Content follows along with the sourcebook but at a higher, more challenging level. It includes higher level literature books, writing assignments, activities, and thinking skill points. Connect all your students to the same time period and type of learning with the Trail Guide to Learning series Middle School Supplement. (Available in digital format.)
How many levels are used to teach American history?
We teach American History using a three-year program. Here is a summary of the three Paths.
Paths of Exploration — (Grades 3-5) The character and experiences of explorers who shaped us as a nation with their vision, determination, bravery and sacrifice. They blazed a trail for others to follow. The focus here is on the type of thinking, leadership and skills that were needed to open up the way for others to follow. Primary science focus involves acquiring the basic skills of observation and recording (both drawing and writing), beginning life science through studying the animals and plant life of explored areas, including habitats and the relationship of these factors to the explorers. Some key figures studied: Columbus, the Jamestown settlers, the Pilgrims, Daniel Boone and Lewis and Clark.
Paths of Settlement — (Grades 4- 6) The settling of our nation is examined through the lives of leaders who made a difference by standing for their beliefs and making a way for us as a nation to follow and grow. Key events studied - the Colonial Period, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War and Westward Expansion. What does it take to build a nation? Blazing a trail was the first step, building a foundation for growth and government is next. Primary science focus - Earth Science (geology, weather, land forms, climate) and the impact of these factors on settlement. Basic economics and international relationships are also addressed. Some key figures studied include George Washington, Paul Revere, Abigail Adams, Francis Scott Key, Clara Barton, Robert E. Lee, and Abraham Lincoln.
Paths of Progress — (Grades 5-7) To grow as a country, another group of leaders had to step forward during our history - scientists and inventors. They used their talents and abilities to answer questions that provided better ways of living and working. The lives of these devoted individuals and their contributions will be examined throughout our history, into the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of the 20th century. Primary science focus — physical science (such as energy, motion, atoms and molecules) and the geographic and economic impact of each development. Some key figures studied: Ben Franklin, Samuel Morse, George Washington Carver, the Wright Brothers, and Thomas Edison.
What are the resources necessary to complete Paths of Progress? Are they included, or do they need to be purchased separately?
Students will need the readers, read-aloud books, and a number of other reference materials and activity books. Every item is available separately or packaged in discounted sets.
The Progress Complete Package includes the teacher manuals in two volumes, all resources listed on the product description page, and digital versions of the student notebook pages.
Printed, ready-to-use, student notebook pages are available by grade and by volume.
See the product description for a complete list of the Core and Unit Resources.
There are six units in Progress, in two volumes. How long does it take to do each unit?
The third year of the Trail Guide to Learning series, Paths of Progress, contains 36 lessons (each designed to take 5 days to complete) in 6 units, as follows:
Great Leaps — 6 weeks
Making Connections — 6 weeks
Perseverance Pays Off — 6 weeks
Cultivating Greatness — 6 weeks
Success Takes Flight — 6 weeks
Reach for the Stars — 6 weeks
Does Paths of Progress use timelines?
Timeline activities are part of the Profiles from History, Volume 3 resource book.