Figures in Motion – Interactive Activity Books

Age Range: Grades 1-8
Cost Range: $12.95 to $19.95
Subject: Art, History, (Mediaeval, Renaissance, Egyptian, Civil War, etc.) Archeology, Bible History
Location: Livermore, CA
Phone : 925-583-5670
Email :

By Janet Esposito

History is boring – and it’s our own fault. History, as it is taught in most classrooms throughout the country, tasks kids with memorizing a jumble of facts and dates about figures that have ceased being relevant to today. This version of history is not just cumbersome and difficult, it ignores the entire point of why we teach History as a subject. When we teach History, the goal is to examine the lessons learned by our ancestors — to ensure that we, as humanity, progress forward. That is a tall order, to be sure — and one that cannot be fulfilled through rote memorization of irrelevant gobbledigook. History is not flat, but full of life and real people — not just idealized historical figures, but real people, faced with real problems. The key to teaching History effectively is to infuse learning with the rich, meaningful details that make History come to life.

Figures in Motion is the perfect way to make history come alive for kids. Each book is filled with meticulously designed, movable, paper cut-out action figures — all centered around different historical periods. They are the perfect supplement for any history curriculum, offering kids a concrete example of history that they can manipulate themselves. All you need are coloring supplies, scissors, ⅛” hole punch, and mini brads (⅛”) or brass fasteners. Printed on sturdy cardstock and accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions, these figures are perfect for kids of all ages. All of the beautiful illustrations are based upon authentic historical renderings and the activity books also include detailed biography sections with historical facts about each movable figure. Each book also includes additional coloring pages, puzzles, and activity worksheets available for customers to download online.

Figures in Motion has just released two new selections, and both promise to offer hours of meaningful, creative play. In Famous Figures of the Renaissance, ten of the most important people from the Renaissance period come to life with these historically-authentic movable figures. Students learn about Johannes Gutenberg, Isabella I, Christopher Columbus, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, and Galileo Galilei. And Footsteps of Faith: Queen Esther is the introductory title in the new Footsteps of Faith Bible history series from Figures in Motion. Kids learn about Queen Esther, King Xerxes I, Queen Vashti, Mordecai, and Haman. And each book offers historical scripts that your students can use to act out the history they learn about in school and religious textbooks.

Along with the historical scripts available online, there are companion reading lists included with each book, providing numerous potential learning opportunities for students to re-enact history with their figures. From younger students to pre-teens, these figures are ideal for all students to engage with history in a concrete way and to explore the historical themes and events that are most interesting to them. Each figure comes in both colored and uncolored versions — great as an arts-and-crafts project for younger students. For older kids looking for a challenge, try making puppets by attaching craft sticks and create period-accurate backdrops for the ultimate historic puppet show. Or encourage budding film directors to try stop-motion animation using magnets or felt, attached to the back of figures. For even more fun, try creating your own scripts!

When teaching History, the possibilities are truly limitless — if only we, as educators, offer our students the tools they need to let their imaginations loose. For more information on Famous Figures of the Renaissance and Footsteps of Faith: Queen Esther, and all of the award-winning selections offered, please visit their website at J.E.

Author: Michael Leppert

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