I will never forget when I was a young girl, I used to hear my Grandma sing: “Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier.” Thanks to Ywam Publishing, and their Heroes of History series and Unit Study Guides, I am able to teach my kids about Davy Crockett too.
Heroes of History – Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
David Crockett 1786-1836
Ages 10 and up
Retail: $9.99 on sale for $7.50
Davy Crockett: Ever Westward 1786–1836 is a biography of David Crockett’s life from about the time he was 10 years of age until his death. It is written in an easy to understand way for people of all ages. It is recommended for students age 10 and older.
Table of Contents:
This book includes 17 chapters and suggested bibliography resources. Topics discussed in these chapters include: pioneer life, family relations, bullying, courting and marriage, forest, rivers, hunting for food, faith, education, Tennessee; Texas, militias, native American Indians, US House of Representatives, Texas Revolution, Battle of the Alamo, bushcrafting, woodsmanship, integrity, exploration conviction, hope, and determination to survive.
Below I have listed each chapter title and briefly summarized the first six chapters from the book for you to get a general idea of what we are learning about:
1. Across the World: This chapter we are introduced to a dreamer teenage boy named David who hopes to get a job as a cabin boy on a merchant ship that is hauling lumber and sailing from America to London.
2. Wilderness Life: This chapter we travel back in time to the early years of David’s life, from about 10 years of age, as his family moved to a couple locations in the state of Tennessee to set up their homestead life. After loosing their home and belongings and a grist mill they had built to a flood, they had to move again. In another location, they set up their home as a Tavern (with a bed and food and care of horses) for travelers. David is an excellent hunter and provides the homestead with meat. He also chops firewood, and does other chores around their pioneer life. He also takes care of the travelers horses getting them water, food, bedding, and cleaning the mud off the horses hair if needed.
3. A Hired Hand: David’s father sends him at age 12 to help one of the travelers take his wagon, horses, and cows 400 miles East to reach his homestead in Virginia. He has given up on the harsh Westward expansion and skirmishes with Indians and wants to return to farm life in Virginia. After David helps him to Virginia he is kept on to work for him as a hired hand according to an arrangement his father made and didn’t tell him about. During the winter, on his own, David up and leaves the “hired hand” job and makes his way back home.
4. The Runaway: David makes the long journey home. However, there are many changes including a new school with a dirt floor opens up nearby and all the Crockett boys are enrolled and their father paid for them to attend. David fights a school bully. David skips school and after several days his father finds out because the teacher updates his father. His dad confronts him on the trail near the woods as he tries to skip out again the next day. David runs off into the woods to avoid a spanking and being forced to return to school. David gets a job driving cattle to Virginia and then another job getting wagons of goods to Baltimore. He hopes to get a job as a cabin boy and sail the seas and see the world. But the driver of the wagons refuses to give him his pay and personal belongings, prevents him from boarding the ship, and forces him to continue working for him with the wagons.
5. The Return: The owner of the wagon train beat David with a whip in addition to preventing him from joining the ship as a cabin boy, and he forced him to continue on helping with the wagon trains. After several undeserved beatings, David escapes from the wagon train. He informs another wagon driver further back on the trail of what happened and this driver helps him confront the evil man and retrieve his clothes, though his money is lost forever. David eventually becomes an apprentice to a hat maker and spends 18 months (of a 4 year commitment) learning the trade of turning animal pelts (mainly beaver pelts) into processed felt to make custom hats. When his work ended, David was almost 16, and he was ready to see his family and make the long and dangerous journey walking over 400 miles back home. His family is glad to see him when he returns.
6. Free and Clear: David’s father asks him to work for his creditor (s) and pay of his debts. David agrees and works first for 6 months at a tavern (fetching water, chopping firewood, and serving the travelers) and later he worked 6 months more for a farmer doing various farm chores. In the end he had paid off both of his father’s debts. While working for the farmer, he listened to him read the bible out loud each day and was inspired to go back to school and learn to read and write. After the debts were paid off, he went back to work part time for the farmer and attended school. He was 18 years old, a grown man, and back in school. He had only had a few days of schooling in his youth before he left. Now he was determined to learn and he learned to read and write and do math computations using a handheld chalk board called a slate and later used a quill with ink. David falls in love with the wrong girl and it ends badly for him. At 19 years of age, he is not sure if he will ever find a wife.
7: Answering the Call:
8. Indian Country:
9. Wandering in the Wilderness:
10. Shoal Creek:
11. Gentleman from the Cane:
12. Rutherford Fork:
13. Down the River:
14. Congressman Crockett:
15. The Lion of the West:
16. On to Texas:
17. One Last Battle:
Bibliography: Suggested books to read about David Crockett’s life.
Downloadble Unit Study – Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
Digital Unit Study
72 Pages Instruction Guide
4 Pages Student Worksheets
Retail $9.99 On Sale $5.49
This digital unit study guide contains several guides and everything you need to teach the book as a stand alone course, or as part of a larger course, and has several helpful organized teaching tips if you need to meet certain learning standards. It also includes a 76 page unit study guide. The unit study has a printable part 1 and part 2. Part 2 is the same as Apendix C and contains the printable Social Studies Reproducibles. Additional bonus materials are also available.
Table of Contents:
1. Key Quotes
2. Display Corner
3. Chapter Questions (Discussion questions, these can be answered orally or written out for all 17 chapters)
4. Student Explorations (Arts & Crafts, Movies, Essay and Research Projects, etc)
5. Community Links (Field Trips, Interviews, etc)
6. Social Studies (Vocabulary, Geography, Graphs, Historical Timelines, etc)
7. Related Themes to Explore
8. Culminating Event (Special Display, Oral Presentation, or Dinner for family and friends showing off your learning adventure)
Appendix A: Books and Resources
Appendix B: Answers to Chapter Questions
Appendix C: Social Studies Reproducibles
There are lots of ways this unit study guide can enhance the learning of the material in the book. Unit studies are cross curricular. They blend a theme of a book, main character, or specific topic, with many subjects and cover the material from different angles and hands on exploration.
It is up to the parent or family to decide how many additional projects they want to include to expand the learning. Some folks may want to choose just a few projects to expand the learning, and other folks may want to choose lots of research projects, movies, field trips, arts and crafts. This unit study is flexible and can be adapted to what ever your family needs. It is a good idea to write down what activities you want to do and where in the learning adventure you want to fit them in.
Rather than just reading the book straight through, and being done in a day or few days, the Davy Crockett Unit Study Guide easily helps stretch the learning opportunity into as many weeks as desired. If you want it to last 17 days or about 3+ weeks, you could do a short unit study by reading a chapter and doing the related study questions each day. Or you could do a longer unit study and read a chapter, questions, and additional related projects per week. If you add in enough additional projects, books, field trips, etc, this unit study could possibly cover several months about 17 weeks (for 17 chapters). Or you could possibly make this study last a whole school year of learning around a specific theme. This unit study about Davy Crockett accommodates further studies and learning adventures in:
We received the book and the downloadable unit study guide in exchange for writing an honest review. We added several additional activities, field trips, and crafts to further facilitate this review and these added to the hands on learning experience. The pictures below are a brief summary of some of the learning adventures we have done so far.
Some of my family has read ahead, but most of us are reading 1 chapter a week aloud together as a family, and doing the suggested discussion questions in the unit study guide as well as several fun activities. We have been super busy with optional activities, and we are currently on Chapter 7 with another 10 chapters to go. Whew! It’s been a lot of fun so far!
My 13 year old son read the book cover to cover and couldn’t put it down. The book is a great read with lots of excitement. He loves adventures, hunting, history, and drama and has loved reading this book!
My 15 year old son is keeping pace with the rest of us. He trades the book off with me reading a chapter at a time. He also loves the wilderness, pioneers, farming, and responsibility. He is really enjoying this book and learning experience.
When he is finished reading a chapter, I read the book aloud to the rest of the family, including to my husband when possible. He wants me to read ahead to him, but I tell him he has to wait on the rest of us or read ahead on his own. He is enjoying hearing about Davy Crockett too.
Unit Study Guide Worksheets:
Davy lived on smoked dried venison (deer jerky) and stewed venison (deer stew) during much of his life. Though he likely made his over a campfire or fireplace, we made beef jerky with a modern method by slicing the meat into strips, marinating in a combination of apple cider vinegar and spices, and drying on a dehydrator rack.
Firewood & Building Campfire & Cooking Outside:
The kids helped collect firewood and make a campfire in the back yard. The big boys have created two fire pits. One is surrounded with rocks and one fire pit area is surrounded with some old bricks we had on hand. I prefer using the one surrounded by brick when the younger kids are going to be sitting together, because it only has exposure to the fire on one side (the back and sides have brick) so it is easier to keep an eye on safety. The rock firepit is more rustic and manly used by the big boys, or occasionally a younger sibling will sit with them too. On the brick fire pit we put a cooking grill plate on top. Sometimes we use the plate to hold water for making tea, soup, steak, pancakes, or baking bread. The bricks help reflect heat for baking and to keep warm when it is a cold day or evening. After building the fire, the kids cooked beef hot dogs and sat by the fire late into the evening watching the embers glow. We are gathering recipes and ingredients and have plans to do a hole lot more outdoor cooking projects before our unit study is through.
Davy crossed many creeks and rivers in his journeys.
We did not try to cross a river, but we enjoyed going to the waters edge and making observations, and exploring the surrounding forest.
Wild Foraging – Edible Plants for Food and Medicine:
We collected several plants, ate some fresh in salad, dried some, and froze some for using in various ways such as sweet jams and home remedies. I wrote another post about this experience for this unit study.
Collecting Pine Buds, Pine Needles, and Pine Pollen.
Collecting Dandelion Flowers and Greens.
Collecting Rose Hips and checking on status of new wild roses about to bloom.
Collecting Fresh Wild Rose Petals
I have a half barrel planter on the back porch filled with mint and flowers. It was perfect for my youngest son to practice his harvesting skills.
Hunting Archery Practice:
Dad helped all of the kids practice shooting a long bow. It shoots with about 25lbs of pressure, much less than the larger versions. I found this smaller long bow at the sporting goods store for about $20 and it came with three arrows and a quiver too. We picked up some extra arrows to practice with. It worked out great.
Gold Rush Investigations:
We took a trip to see a real gold town that was part of the Westward Expansion and gold rush of the early 1800’s in North Carolina.
The kids practiced making candles outside. They melted wax and dipped cotton string into it and hung it up to dry.
My oldest son also made another version of a bushcraft candle with a match wrapped in paper (paper towels or toilet paper work great) and dipped into wax. These waxed candle matches are used to start campfires because they burn a long time like a candle.
The older boys made a leather bag from cow hide and gave it to Dad for his birthday. Several months ago, Dad helped one of the boys make a bag and a sheath. Now that same boy taught his brother how to make a leather bag for dad. I will post additional stories about these projects, but here are a few pictures.
The boys also enlisted Dad’s help to make a knife sheath. This project isn’t finished yet.
The younger kids also made a Native American style leather bag. We bought leather shamios for cleaning cars. These were 3′ x 3′ size leather hides available at most local stores that were tanned with cod oil, and they were $8 a piece. They are a lot thinner than the cow leather the older boys use to creating sheaths and bags with, but they were softer for younger kids to handle and more affordable. We bought three for the younger kids to practice making pioneer and Native American Indian related crafts with.
So far, they learned to make a leather bag and decorate it with beads.
Here is big brother helping little brother with this project. They made a paper template and then traced it onto the leather before cutting it out.
They used several tools to create this leather project.
Then end product is adorable. They sewed it by hand. The sides are stiched in two rows and they left a flap for the lid. They attached a tassel and beads for decoration. This bag will hold herbs, jerkey, and lots of different things.
We will be making more crafts with these pieces of leather as we continue the unit study.
We have had a few movie nights. We sat down together including all of the kids and my husband and watched a few episodes of Davy Crockett from the TV series in the 1960’s.
We have also watched several documentaries for movie night that were fantastic!
We also watched a pioneer and native American Indian movie and plan to see a few more with this theme.
These movies really peaked everyone’s interest and they have all been so attentive to listen to the book and learn more. We have had so much fun!
So far we have watched:
- Davy Crockett TV Series
- Davy Crockett Song Lyrics
- Davy Crockett Documentary – The Legend of Davy Crockett – The Incredible Journey
- “Not Yours to Give” Davy Crockett’s Speech before the House
- Davy Crockett and the Alamo Documentary – Battle of the Alamo – The Incredible Journey
- Follow the River (shares many of the same topics of pioneers, farming, exploration and Westward Expansion, trade, and hunter gatherers, strained relations with Native American Indians).
Building Diarama’s and Story Telling:
The kids have had a ton of fun creating with Legos, Lincoln logs, Popsicle sticks and retelling the stories from Davy Crockett’s life. They used many of these creations to decorate their display table.
The kids set up a display table in the living room. They will continue to add to the display as we go through the chapters of the book and unit study. We need a bigger table!
We also made Davy Crockett themed lapbook notebooks.
I used the worksheets from the downloadable Unit Study Guide as the foundation (biography page, timeline, maps), and then added a lot of history minibooks, worksheets, vocabulary, coloring pages, and more.
To make the lapbook notebooks, I took several file folders, cut them in half along the seam, then hole punched them and inserted them into 3 ring binders for each of the kids. This makes a handy way to store all of their written projects, a nice keepsake of their learning adventure, and a visual way to share what they have learned with others.
So far we have made lapbook folder pages Davy Crockett, pioneer life including vocabulary, Conestoga wagons, care of horses, plants and animals found in the forest and midwest, one on the state of Tennessee (flags, animals, birds, trees, symbols, etc), one on modes of transportation during this time in history (wagons, horses, walking, boat, etc), a lapbook folder page on the sate of Texas (flags, animals, birds, trees, symbols, etc), and then one on the Alamo that includes a minibook of the mission where the battle took place, people, and the history.
I haven’t figured out all of the additional activities we will do to further the learning with the unit study, but a few will include:
- primitive skills kits (I purchased making birch bark baskets, learning to make cordage from plants, and learning to make various survival traps)
- how to: knot tying
- plant, tend, and harvest a garden
- visit a living history farm
- ride in a horse drawn wagon
- ride a horse
- ride in a boat
- sketch a log cabin scene
- sketch or paint a forest or river scene
- visit the Cherokee Indian Reservation
- visit the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina & Tennessee
- visit the Smoky mountains of Tennessee
- visit a grist mill
- make homemade butter
- cook deer stew and johnny cakes
- make dandelion jam
- make dried mint for tea
- make a plantain healing salve
- make homemade soap
- wash clothes outside and hang them from tree to dry
- learn to make felt from sheep wool
- learn to make ink and write with a quill pen
- camp overnight outside
- go fishing for dinner
- target practice with muzzle loader and sling shot (we did this last year when we studied about Daniel Boone and plan to do it again).
- target practice with tomahawk and throwing knives.
This unit study project is a work in progress, as we are still working through the book and unit study and creating lapbook notebooks while adding more activities and field trips as we go. We will continue on learning with this through out the rest of the spring and summer.
This has been a blast of fun and has turned out to be a very nice learning adventure for the whole family. We have reviewed Heroes of History Daniel Boone: Frontiersman and Heroes of History Billy Graham: America’s Pastor and have really enjoy these books and the corresponding unit study guides and fun activities (arts and crafts, movies, field trips, worksheets, maps, books, etc). I highly recommend homeschool families to check out the Heroes of History!
HEROES OF HISTORY
Heroes of History covers 7 periods of American History. Using Ywam Heroes of History books can help parents and teachers encourage and expand a students understanding of history and the people who helped make it happen.
- The Beginnings of a Nation (4 books)
- The Establishment of a Nation (3 books)
- The Exploration of a Nation (3 books)
- The Fracturing of a Nation (3 books)
- The Growth of a Nation (3 books)
- The Inspiration of a Nation (4 books)
- The Future of a Nation (5 books)
Ywam Publishing continues to add more books to their Heroes of History series. They currently have 29 books that make a great edition to every homeschool family’s library. This is a biography series of true stories of men and women who changed the course of history for the better.
Heroes of History series has 29 books. Here are their titles listed in alphabetical order:
- Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom
- Alan Shepard: Higher and Faster
- Ben Carson: A Chance at Life
- Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire
- Benjamin Rush: The Common Good
- Billy Graham: America’s Pastor
- Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea
- Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire
- Daniel Boone: Frontiersman
- Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
- Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor
- Elizabeth Fry: Angel of Newgate
- Ernest Shackleton: Going South
- George Washington: True Patriot
- George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist
- Harriet Tubman: Freedombound
- John Adams: Independence Forever
- John Smith: A Foothold in the New World
- Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life
- Louis Zamperini: Redemption
- Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map
- Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate
- Orville Wright: The Flyer
- Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side
- Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original
- Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work
- William Bradford: Plymouth’s Rock
- William Penn: Liberty and Justice for All
- William Wilberforce: Take Up the Fight
They also have another Biography series called Christian Heroes: Then & Now that covers a lot more than American History, World History, World Geography, and the spread of the Christian Faith worldwide. A portion of every sale at Ywam Publishing goes to help Ywam Missions spread the gospel around the world. They have a total of 47 books in this series so far.
- Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma
- Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems
- Betty Greene: Wings to Serve
- Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent
- Cameron Townsend: Good News in Every Language
- Charles Mulli: We are Family
- Clarence Jones: Mr. Radio
- Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den
- Count Zinzendorf: First Fruit
- C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller
- C.T. Studd: No Retreat
- David Bussau: Facing the World Head-on
- David Livingstone: Africa’s Trailblazer
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer: In the Midst of Wickedness
- D.L Moody: Bringing Souls to Christ
- Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender
- Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold
- Florence Young: Mission Accomplished
- Francis Asbury: Circuit Rider
- George Müller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans
- Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime
- Hudson Taylor: Deep in the Heart of China
- Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Healing Hearts
- Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World
- Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies
- Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose
- John Flynn: Into the Never Never
- John Newton: Change of Heart
- John Wesley: The World His Parish
- John Williams: Messenger of Peace
- Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China
- Klaus-Dieter John: Hope in the Land of the Incas
- Lillian Trasher: The Greatest Wonder in Egypt
- Loren Cunningham: Into All the World
- Lottie Moon: Giving Her All for China
- Mary Slessor: Forward Into Calabar
- Mildred Cable: Through the Jade Gate
- Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer
- Paul Brand: Helping Hands
- Rachel Saint: A Star in the Jungle
- Richard Wurmbrand: Love Your Enemies
- Rowland Bingham: Into Africa’s Interior
- Samuel Zwemer: The Burden of Arabia
- Sundar Singh: Footprints Over the Mountains
- Wilfred Grenfell: Fisher of Men
- William Booth: Soup, Soap, and Salvation
- William Carey: Obliged to Go
These books and corresponding Unit Study Guides from Ywam Publishing are wonderful. There is a huge variety of people and topic options to learn about. Here is a sneak peak of a few of the unit study guides, but be sure to check out their website for more.
Be sure to check out Ywam Publishing on their social media links for all the latest news, products, and great tips on using various products they have to offer to enhance your student’s learning.
Homeschool Review Crew
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