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Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

 Rebecca Locklear’s Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities is a fantastic resource to use any time of year, especially for summer! Brimming with a variety of activities for multi-age learning, Rebecca Locklear has designed a maritime history unit study course that gives you much insight on what life was like for storm warriors or angels in oilskins. Perhaps you may know them as the U.S. Life-Saving Service, or after 1915, the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Blue Book says we have to go out [to rescue people]. It doesn’t say a thing about coming back.”

Keeper Patrick Etheridge, Cape Hatteras

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service Student Workshops

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service is a 118 page eBook that contains 17 student workshops with 120 activities. This unit study can be used by history, social studies, and art teachers, as well as families, scouting groups, and even museum personnel. The recommended grade level is 4-12. There is an introductory workshop in addition to four units. Each unit or workshop has a different focus:

  • Unit 1: Life at the Station House
  • Unit 2: Working Together
  • Unit 3: The Culture of Character
  • Unit 4: Relevance Today

Inside each of these units are an abundance of activities that include art, cooking, drama, music, story telling, critical thinking, problem solving, and more. If you are interested in taking it even further, there are several pages of additional topic ideas to explore that go beyond what is listed in the chart below. The appendix includes recipes from the early 1900’s that the life savers of New England would have eaten. Baked eels, anyone?

With one kid working full-time this summer, I am waiting to do this unit study with my family during the school year. My oldest (16) read through the introductory workshop and several other unit sections. We got the Gingerbread in a Jar Activity ready for when we are ready to make the muffins. We also played the “Who Am I” activity in the first unit. An older child can easily answer them, but what is really nice is that the question cards contain fun facts in the answers that many adults may not know. Last, I teased them with an activity by sketching scenes from the “Sprayed….Again” story on our chalkboard. I decided to leave them hanging in suspense, and wonder why I drew a vomiting stick figure!

What did I think?

As a lifetime coastal dweller myself, I was fascinated with Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service. I love the variety of activities, and how a wide age range can all learn something so interesting that little is ever written about. Rebecca Locklear has done an amazing job at putting this unit together. Her passion for the subject as well as teaching shines through. Her great grandfather was a part of the U.S. Life-Saving service, and I’m glad she saw his (as well as the many others) service important enough to want to share with others. If you would like see more of Rebecca’s workshops and materials, visit Rebecca Locklear’s website and sign up for her emails.

Many other Review Crew members reviewed this one as well as The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today. Check them out by clicking the banner below!


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