Mar 13, 2013

History Book List: Columbus to the Revolution

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I had several requests for the list of books that we have used this year in our History Adventure, so here you are. But first, a short caveat. I created this list off of the Sonlight book lists, suggestions from friends, grubbing around the Internet, and from this very lengthy list. I took all of those ideas and went to my library website to see what they had. I also bought some of the list when I accidentally found them at thrift stores, used book stores, and the flea market. So my final list is comprised of what I could find for super cheap or free. I didn't even buy anything off of Amazon! Basically what I am saying here is, this list may or may not be the perfect list, or even a great list. It is just what we used because it was what we could afford. That said, I am not disappointed with any of the books that we read. The kids have learned something from them and enjoyed them all.
We started with Christopher Columbus, so our first book was

Pedro's Journal by Pam Conrad

We then read

The Columbus Story by Alice Dalgliesh

We then made spyglasses, mapped the voyage, made boats for snack, built a compass, and the kids put together a play telling the story. Oh, and read the famous poem.

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Then we learned about Captain John Smith, Jamestown, Pocahontas and Squanto by reading

Pocahontas and the Strangers by Clyde Robert Bulla

A Lion to Guard Us  by Clyde Robert Bulla

Squanto: Friend of the White Men by Clyde Robert Bulla

We played with Lincoln Logs. We discussed the doorknocker in A Lion to Guard Us and what it represented and what our family doorknocker would be. We talked about what we would/could take if we were journeying to Jamestown. We colored pictures and wrote a short narration about Squanto. The kids were fascinated to encounter the same people in the different books and were impressed that they were real people!

We then moved on to the Pilgrims with

Soldier Rigdale by Beulah Marie Dix (I actually have a copy of this book that I bought at a library book sale many, many, many years ago when I was young. It was a book I enjoyed reading as a child and was pleased to share it with the kids.)

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh

We did some mapping and a lot of discussion about the differences between our lifestyle and that of the Pilgrims. We also discussed why the Pilgrims journeyed to the New World and how thankful we should be that they did. The big kids worked with this fun program that we "just happened" to be reviewing at the time. And Kaytie chose to be Constance Hopkins for Halloween.

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Then we moved into the Colonial Era with

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (THIS was a favorite)

The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh (they liked this one a lot, too)

The Matchlock Gun by  Walter D. Edmonds (we have a running family joke from this book)

We were finishing up our fall term with these last books and I thought they did a good job of presenting the feel of the time period, so we didn't do any go along activities.

The Revolutionary War period was a little overwhelming for me. So I shifted my focus a bit from fiction books to non-fiction books. I have some kids who strongly prefer non-fiction, so this worked for us. We did read some fiction, as well, though, we read

Silver for General Washington by  Enid Meadowcroft

Six Silver Spoons by Janette Lowery

Sam, the Minute Man by Nathaniel Benchley

The non-fiction that we read:

Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz

George Did It! by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain

If You Lived At the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore

The Declaration of Independence from A to Z by Catherine Osornio

Boston Tea Party by Pamela Duncan Edwards (another one that they loved, there was much sadness when we had to take it back to the library)

President George Washington by David A. Adler

Take the Lead, George Washington by Judith St. George

George Washington, A Picture Book Biography by James Giblin

Row, Row, Row, the Boats, A fun Song about George Washington Crossing the Delaware by Michael Dahl (they rolled their eyes at this one)

George Washington, the Father of Our Country, A First Biography by David A. Adler

A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin by David A. Adler

Benjamin Franklin Writer Inventor Statesman   by Hill Nettleton

And what we are going to read to finish up the term:

Meet Benjamin Franklin by Maggi Scarf

What's the Big Idea Ben Franklin? by Jean Fritz

Benjamin Franklin Printer, Inventor, Statesman A First Biography by David A. Adler (Amazon does not have a link to this)

The Many Lives of Benjamin Franklin by Aliki

The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin by Cheryl Harness

Ben and Me by Robert Lawson

Mr. Revere and I by Robert Lawson

And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz

and whatever else catches my eye when I am browsing through the library, including all of the David Adler and Jean Fritz books I can grab. I am toying with having the big kids read Johnny Tremain on their own and just discussing it with them.

As you can see, non-fiction goes more quickly than fiction... we can often read a book (or more) a day, so we got a lot in. This is as far as we have gotten in our study, I will write another post when we move on to the 1800s, but I will give you a little sneak peek and let you know that we will start with

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

And I will leave you with a picture of the kids performing their Columbus play... they are sailing to America in this picture, well, Kaytie and Daniel were, I'm not sure exactly what the other two are doing...

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