American History Curriculum

American History Year One Books & Materials

Lots of Wonderful American History Books

This page will help direct you to the books and materials used in our American history curriculum.

Click here to skip the intro .

In choosing the books and materials for this topic of study, I included favorites from previous years of teaching my older children and also added in "new" books that I think will be helpful, interesting, fun and contribute to our study of American history.

I have found these books through a variety of sources: by looking through books personally at the library, book reviews on various sites (such as Amazon.com) and multiple sites such as: Literature to Supplement History (where you can find an excellent list of books)!I've looked over and read many of these books and watched many of the movies, but there are some books that we didn't get around to reading and some movies we didn't have the time for.

There are thousands of good books for American history. Don't feel roped into "my" choices. They are listed as a guideline only. If you see a book that you think would be better, please use it. If your child wants to get off on a tangent, then let him (within reason and your judgment!). Maybe your daughter really likes Native American stories, or your son books about the Revolution. If so, then add those books and perhaps take out some others.

If you can't locate a book on the list, don't sweat it. Find an appropriate substitution and use that instead. You will most likely not get to "all" of the books listed. My plans are ambitious, but we really like a heavy amount of reading and I've found that my kids enjoy going more in depth. Sometimes a book will "repeat" some information we've already gone over in another. I don't think this is a bad thing, because it helps to further cement facts (as long as it doesn't get boring!). Sometimes it's interesting too, to see how books and authors disagree! Feel free to use the "book basket" method for choosing which books to read.

In the daily schedule, I have scheduled most books in according to how many pages you should read per day. I have also, at times, listed multiple books in different categories (readers, history reading, etc.). As long as you pick just one or two of your favorites for each topic, you will be doing just fine and learning plenty.

Some notes about the movies chosen:

Click to tip!

Most of the videos and DVD's I've chosen are what's available at a library we frequent. I believe that "seeing" things really adds to a study (the more ways you can get facts "into" kids, the better they will remember). My kids really enjoy the videos I schedule. Videos, for us, are a sort of a "treat" because we make a habit of not watching too much T.V. (not having cable helps that out). DVD's and videos are usually saved for the end of the day when everyone is done with work and studying!

I haven't seen all of the scheduled videos, but I have seen many that are produced by same company (most of the videos are Schlessinger videos) and they are pretty good for kids (short, easy to understand, etc.).

 

Some notes about History Pockets:

I have scheduled four History Pockets books. In my estimation they are not "all" be necessary. I just happened to have them all. Two of the books are specifically for K-3rd grade (Native Americans and Pilgrims). Two others are for 4th-6th grade (Explorers and Colonial). I have looked them all over and think the 4th-6th grade books are, in my opinion, just fine for a 3rd grader to use.

If you are on a tight budget (or just don't want to do FOUR History Pockets books), I would recommend the Native Americans book (as this is the first 7 topics of this study) and then either the Pilgrims book (you can spread it out over the colonial topics if you wish) or the Colonial America book. The book on explorers is the most "optional" for this study, but useful as your child will probably come across the names mentioned in it again. If you plan on using WinterPromise's American Story 2 next year, you will want to SKIP the History Pockets Moving West book.

You can click on the links of each History Pockets title to go directly to the Evan-Moor site and look at each and every page of the books, if you wish. This should help you choose which books are most appropriate for your child (if you want to do the History Pockets at all).

I like History Pockets because they make a really nice portfolio, the kids enjoy working on them (and reviewing their work by looking through them later); they retain what they learn from them, and they add "fun" activities to our studies. In a couple cases, I have provided alternative books that are similar but may be a nice change or more fun depending on your family's taste.

Icon Key and Explanations:

This is a favorite of ours and highly recommended. Just because a book doesn't have a heart by it doesn't mean it's not good or even great. This special icon is reserved only for those few books that will be on my shelves long after the kids are gone. This is a "save for the grandkids" selection.

This symbol indicates book that has projects in it (crafts, cut & paste, etc.).

You can find this book or media item at some well-stocked libraries. If you are on a budget, this is the way to go!

I recommend this book as a read-aloud. Usually Read-Alouds are books that are a more challenging reading level (and possibly lengthy), or have content in them that you may want to discuss together and explain further. They expose your child to books that he might be reluctant to read himself. My own son, while a "proficient" reader, was not, at this point of my writing this curriculum, a "prolific" reader (at least not when it came to longer "chapter" books). He "listened" to a lot of great books throughout the year though!

I recommend this book as a reader. I chose this year's readers on the basis of them not "pushing" too much reading level wise while still being engaging and interesting. I didn't want assigned reading to feel forced or like a chore to my son.

If your child devours long and more difficult chapter books, then by all means assign her some read-alouds (please preview) or choose some of the unmarked books to go through on her own!

If you want to read a reader out loud, then by all means, do that! Remember, it's up to YOU and what works the best for you and your children.

This schedule was written for my son, for his 3rd grade year, so most books have been chosen with that "age" in mind. It is, however, adaptable!

*Note: Books without a Read-Aloud icon or Reader icon can go either way. Pick what's best for you and your family. I actually read a LOT of the unmarked selections out loud. I've learned a lot of fun and interesting facts doing so and this is a special time together for my family and me.

Media item: CD, Video, DVD, etc.

This is a workbook. (Some of the project books also get this designation because they have writing assignments, etc. in them, in addition to crafts or models.) You will need to take note if it's a consumable or not, as some are not (like Draw Right Now, which you work out of, not in).

You will probably have to purchase this item, (unless you can find it at your library), beg, borrow or…well don't steal it! Please consider making your purchases through us via Amazon.com. Your support will help keep our site and our materials free for everyone.

 

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Books and Materials Scheduled
*Please note, if this is your first time looking at this page, please read the intro. above.

Click here to see a week-by-week list of the books if you are using our daily schedule or if you want a list to help plan your library trips.

Materials for Topic 1 Native Americans: Seminoles

Materials for Topic 2 Native Americans: Northeast Indians

Materials for Topic 3 Native Americans: Great Plains Indians

Materials for Topic 4 Native Americans: Southwest Indians

Materials for Topic 5 Native Americans: Nez Perce

Materials for Topic 6 Native Americans: Northwest Coast Indians

Materials for Topic 7 Native Americans: Inuit

Materials for Topic 8 Discovery and Leif Erickson

Materials for Topic 9 Discovery and Columbus

Materials for Topic 10 Incas, Mayans and Aztecs; Cortes and Pizzarro

Materials for Topic 11 Discovery and Exploration

Materials for Topic 12 English in America: Pocahontas, Jamestown

Materials for Topic 13 Pilgrims

Materials for Topic 14 Colonies and Benjamin Franklin

Materials for Topic 15 French and Indian War

Materials for Topic 16 George Washington and More About the Colonies

Materials for Topic 17 The Revolutionary War

Materials for Topic 18 The Constitution and a New Government

Materials for Topic 19 A First President, a New Country and Johnny Appleseed

Materials for Topic 20 Lewis and Clark

Materials for Topic 21 Monroe Doctrine and the War of 1812

Materials for Topic 22 Andrew Jackson; The Trail of Tears

Materials for Topic 23 Inventions and Changes

Materials for Topic 24 The Alamo

Materials for Topic 25 The Gold Rush and Pioneers

Materials for Topic 26 Pioneers and Moving West

Materials for Topic 27 Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, The Civil War (but not in depth yet)

Materials for Topic 28 The Transcontinental Railroad, George Washington Carver

 

 

 

 

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