I’m excited to study U.S. history again this fall. My children loved reading about (and playing) the Revolutionary War and the establishment of our government when we studied this 3 years ago. I am adding old favorites to this list as well as new soon-to-be favorites. My younger children will enjoy those books that the older two loved 3 years ago. I already shared books for earlier U.S. history and will write posts about later time periods as well. (When the lists get too long, I find them overwhelming to look at!)
This is a roughly chronological list. Anything that is a picture book is marked as such. Any Christian book (or one that talks about God and His Providence) will also be labeled. The picture books will be read to my younger kids (by me or my older ones). The chapter books will be read-alouds or assigned reading for the 3rd and 4th grader.
I hope my lists can be a blessing to you and not something that you feel like you have to accomplish. We love books and love to read about history in our family. I’m sure there will be weeks that we don’t accomplish everything and other weeks where my kids want to dive in further. Last time through this cycle, we spent probably 8 weeks reading and studying this time period (while the memory work continued on). My children loved studying the founding of our country, and we were able to take a number of field trips since we live in Pennsylvania.
Boston Tea Party (week 3)
You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party!: Wharf Water Tea You’d Rather Not Drink is another You Wouldn’t Want to Be favorite of ours.
The Boston Tea Party is a picture book from the library. I love how the text quotes many different people from the actual event (and has source notes in the back). Books like this are a great introduction for little kids into the idea of reading original sources.
Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans just came in the mail so I can’t give you my children’s take on it yet. They loved the first one in this series about the Pilgrims.
Declaration of Independence (week 4)
America : A Patriotic Primer is not just about the Declaration of Independence, but is a great alphabet picture book about our country. A number of the letter pages talk about the Declaration of Independence, but there are also letters about other parts of U.S. history. I actually loved reading just a letter or two at a time with my children 3 years ago to introduce them to our country’s history. The pages about the Declaration of Independence are D, E, and J. Pages C, M, and R are about the Constitution, and page X shows where different key historical events took place. If you have young children, you could just read this to them as an introduction to U.S. history.
Imagination Station Books 13, 14, and 15 The Redcoats Are Coming (Book 13), Captured on the High Seas (Book 14), and Surprise at Yorktown (Book 15 – due out in October 2014) – You can read more about how much we love these books here.
And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (Paperstar) is a fun book to read with a few pictures my children love. I like that the book conveys a lot more about Revere’s life that just what happened in his most famous ride.
Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) is an easy reader that was one of my children’s favorites last time through this cycle. This book led to countless hours playing minutemen and was read so often that it is worn out.
When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots is a great picture book. We will read this and actually visit where Washington crossed the Delaware since we do not live far from there.
Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? is actually about England’s side in the Revolutionary War since it is about King George, but my children enjoy it.
Who Was Paul Revere? is a chapter book biography. My children like the “Who Was” series of books, and this happens to be one we own. My children enjoy reading multiple books about the same historical figure and comparing what different authors say.
Our Constitution (can be before week 5 or weeks 23 and 24)
We the People: The Story of Our Constitution is a great picture book full of direct quotes from many of the delegates that were part of the Constitutional Convention. It tells the story (and the struggle) of writing the Constitution. While this is a picture book, it really appeals to my older elementary children since it has so much information.
If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution is a more “fact-based” book and not as much of a story. It is a series of questions and answers about the Constitution and is nice for reading even just a few questions and answers at a time.
Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution is another books telling lots about the writing of the Constitution and states ratifying it. I really enjoy presenting lots of books on a topic (like the Constitution) so that we can discuss what different authors found important to write about the process.
George Washington (week 5)
George Washington — Soldier, Hero, President is an early reader book with lots of information about George Washington.
George Washington: True Patriot is from YWAM Publishing. It’s a Christian, chapter book from their Heroes of History series.
Can you tell that this is a part of history we enjoyed studying last time around? Do you have any favorites about this time period that I didn’t list?
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