History Notebooking for the Logic Stage

History Notebooking for the Logic Stage

We have discovered something new and I think you will love it!!

My son is now in what we Classical Educators call the Logic Stage and I mentioned before that it used to freak me out. This is because it is relatively easy to find logic stage curriculum for every subject except history and history is our spine.

Fact and tidbit books are great and we have dozens of them on our bookshelves, but ideally history should be studied with real, living, classic books. History is best understood and absorbed this way. I wish there were more books out there like Hittite Warrior, The Golden Goblet, God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah, and Theras and His Town. However, historically based/serious stories like these are few and far between.

Back to those fact and tidbit books…by this I mean examples like the DK Eyewitness books, some Usborne books, the Living History: What Life was Like series, Make It Work! History series, and the See Through History books.  These books house an incredible amount of knowledge and are great supplements to the study of history, especially for visual learners. The photos and depictions are fantastic. Someone once told me they are like a mini museum between two covers.

So, what to do when you have 10 books that each contain 2 pages full of tidbits on your topic? What if the books are all so similar, yet each one contains just one amazing fact that is different from all the others? What if you like the Ancient Egyptian wording in one book better than another, yet your opinion flips for the Ancient Greece section?


I was introduced to this idea on Pinterest and fell in love right away. Here is what you do:

History Notebooking for the Logic Stage

Gather, Scan, Print, Tape, Highlight

  • Gather all the books that contain mentions of your topic.
  • Scan each page using your scanner. We purchased one of those handheld scanners to make this process faster and easier.
  • Print each page out.
  • Tape all the pages together in one long strip.
  • Have your child highlight different sections using various colors of highlighters. For example, you can have your child use color #1 for main ideas, color #2 for secondary ideas, color #3 for facts about people, color #4 for facts about places, color #5 for new vocabulary words, etc.

History Notebooking for the Logic Stage

The last step is notebooking what your child has learned. We use printable notebooking sheets from Notebooking Pages.  Love these sheets! (See them below.) All of the important facts from a dozen books are right there for your child, already reviewed and highlighted.

You can then fold up and save the notes and notebooking pages in your history binder! Be sure to throw in some maps too!

History Notebooking for the Logic Stage

Why we love this method!

  • All the information is right there in one nice foldable book.
  • No more piles of books sitting around with a million tabs or bookmarks in them.
  • No more telling my son, “Read pages 20-21 in this book, and then page 15 in this book, then pages 17, 20, and 24 in this book.”
  • I can sneak in photos and maps throughout the printed book pages. For example, I printed out a page of photos of an ancient library and taped them next to the page that discussed Ashurbanipal’s enormous library.
  • A long scroll of paper just looks cool!
  • 10 individual pages taped together are not as overwhelming as a stack of 6 big books.
  • Seeing a statue or carving of a person, especially a ruler, helps my son feel more connected to the culture he is reading about.
  • This immediately shows my son that there are dozens of different writing styles. By reading an entire book and then later moving on to another book, a child might not recognize the different styles.
  • It is really really fun to be able to use the different colors to highlight things that feel important to you.
  • Like a lapbook, you can go back and re-read your notes any time you want.
  • If you want to sneak in some language arts, you could choose a certain part of speech or type of sentence or phrase. Have your child highlight each one they find.

 Let me know if you decide to try this out. 

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

13 thoughts on “History Notebooking for the Logic Stage

  1. Diane

    This is a fab idea. I have lots of these types of books in our personal library and never really know how to use them. This method completely solves this problem.

  2. janeen

    wow! I love this! I have a 12yo in the logic stage and he gets overwelmed by having too many books to search through so I have been giving him one a time, which doesn’t give him enough info. thanks so much for posting this!!

    Could I just copy the pages instead of scanning? or is there a reason for the scanning??

    1. Amy Post author

      Thank you Janeen! If you have access to a copier, that would possibly be easier than scanning them into the computer to print out. We used to have one of those all-in-one copier/scanner/printers but it didn’t work as well as a regular scanner and a laser printer.

  3. Therese

    This is really cool! I love that the learner gets up and moves to view the scroll as a whole, and highlights in different colors. I’m trying this with my son. Thank you so much for sharing this link.

  4. Sarah

    Wonderful idea. I have had the same dilemma with the fact and tidbit books. But this will be great when my boys are in the dialect stage too.
    Love it! pinned it!

  5. Nadene

    Came over from Jimmie at Notebooking Fairy and I love the way you describe the process of preparing the notes, the stages of using the scroll, as well as the benefits of this system.
    I saw note-mapping a while ago and wondered if my child would get lost in the “biggness” of a whole long strip. Not every child wants an overview, but you have convinced me to give it a try for our next theme.

  6. Claire

    My children do end of term presentations and I’d been wanting a method that they could work at over a period of weeks to write their own presentation themselves. This is perfect. I’m really excited about trying it!

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  8. Gabrielle

    I just found this link via Pinterest. LOVE your idea!! I can’t wait to incorporate it into our lesson plan. My 7yo is easily overwhelmed when I pull out a huge stack of books. I also love the visual aspect of having everything laid out in one long strip, I plan to create these and hang them up while we are studying a certain topic, then we’ll add them to our timeline book when we’re done. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Lisa

    Wonderful!! Thanks for this suggestion. If you don’t mind my asking, what hand-held scanner do you use or would recommend? I’m so going to get one and try this method!

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