Friday, May 30, 2014

Cycle 3 History, Literature, Speeches and Poetry Memory Work, and Geography

American History 1492-Present

American History Book List

This list could have been 1,000+ books long. So many wonderful history, historical fiction, and literature books are available for American history. Picture books, easy chapter books, chapter books, reference books… It was a daunting task to put together a book list for this time period. I have tried to whittle down the selections to a few favorites, but stay tuned for our monthly book lists as we go through our year. And know that this list is by no means exhaustive. Check your library for books available on the topics.

Our family will be covering world history from 1600 to present over the course of the next year (through next summer), but I am listing just American history-related resources in this post, especially for those wanting a list to correspond to the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 history memory work. (A few titles are not specifically American history, but related to the events such as WWII.)


Reference Materials (to span the whole year)

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times
The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia Of World History
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Classical Conversations Classical Acts and Facts History Cards
Children's Encyclopedia of American History (Smithsonian)
The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History
The Children's Book of America edited by William J. Bennett
The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation (a chronological collection of speeches, documents, and poetry with introductory information)
America: The Story of Us (DVD) and many other documentaries
Your Story Hour: Heritage of Our Country Series (radio drama, CDs)


** Poetry or speeches to memorize

:: Challenge A books
::: Challenge B books
:::: Challenge I books (use parental discretion for younger ages)

1. Columbus (1492)

Pedro's Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492-February 14, 1493 (historical fiction, easy chapter book)
Christopher Columbus (Step into Reading, Step 2, Grades 1-3)
The Discovery of The Americas: From Prehistory Through the Age of Columbus by Betsy and Giulio Maestro (beautiful picture book)
Journeys in Time: A New Atlas of American History (picture book, short stories of journeys by Native Americans, Columbus, and much more through modern history)
The Lost Colony Of Roanoke by Jean Fritz
Roanoke: The Lost Colony--An Unsolved Mystery from History by Jane Yolen
James Towne: Struggle for Survival by Marcia Sewall
Exploration and Conquest: The Americas After Columbus: 1500-1620 (American Story) by Betsy Maestro

2. Pilgrims (1620)

The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster
Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness
The Pilgrims at Plymouth by Lucille Recht Penner
Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims by Kenneth C. Davis
:: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
:: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
:::: The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Speare

The New Americans: Colonial Times: 1620-1689 by Betsy and Giulio Maestro
Struggle for a Continent: The French and Indian Wars: 1689-1763 (American Story Series) by Betsy Maestro
The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds

**Begin memorizing/copying Ben Franklin proverbs and sayings

3. Boston Tea Party (1773)

Liberty's Kids - The Complete Series (DVDs, a family favorite!! To watch over weeks 3-5)

Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson (“The shot heard round the world”—written in 1837)

**Memorize part of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech

Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz
Sam the Minuteman (I Can Read Book 3) (Lexington)
Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz
Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution
Boston Tea Party by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Liberty or Death: The American Revolution: 1763-1783 (American Story)by Betsy Maestro 

:::: Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes 

4. Declaration of Independence (1776)

**Memorize first two sentences of the Declaration

Jefferson’s Truths by Michael Clay Thompson (a fantastic exploration of the history, philosophy, structure, grammar, vocabulary, and context of the Declaration of Independence)

The Declaration Of Independence illustrated and inscribed by Sam Fink
The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag (Penguin Young Readers, L3)
Thomas Jefferson by Cheryl Harness
Revolutionary John Adams by Cheryl Harness
The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin by Cheryl Harness

George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster

5. George Washington (1789)

(*Memorize Preamble to the Constitution and list of Bill of Rights, weeks 23 & 24)

George Washington -- Soldier, Hero, President (DK Readers, Level 3: Reading Alone)
George Washington by Cheryl Harness
Shh! We're Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz

A New Nation: The United States: 1783-1815 (American Story) by Betsy Maestro 

6. Louisiana Purchase (1803)

How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark by Rosalyn Schanzer
Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President (Step into Reading, Step 3)
Thomas Jefferson's Feast (Step into Reading) (Step #4)

:::: Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville

7. War of 1812

The Town that Fooled the British: A War of 1812 Story (Tales of Young Americans)
Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner (Step into Reading) 

*Memorize all 4 verses of The Star-Spangled Banner

Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness (1817)

8. Missouri Compromise (1820)

:: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32

Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story by John Jakes (1836)
Voices of The Alamo (Voices of History) by Sherry Garland

Trail of Tears (Step-Into-Reading, Step 5) (Cherokee Trail of Tears, 1838)

Amistad: The Story of a Slave Ship (Penguin Young Readers, L4) (1838)

A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840
Welcome to Kirsten's World, 1854: Growing Up in Pioneer America (American Girl)

**Memorize lyrics for “America, My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (1832)

:::: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

9. Compromise of 1850

Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4)
The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad (I Can Read Book 3)

Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi by Cheryl Harness

:::: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

10. Mexican War (1846 to 1848), Gadsden Purchase (1853), President Polk, Manifest Destiny

Welcome to Josefina's World: 1824 (American Girl) (Daily life of Mexican Americans in New Mexico in the early 1800s)
James K. Polk: Eleventh President 1845-1849 (Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents)
Daily Life in a Covered Wagon by Paul Erickson
Rachel's Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl

11. Abraham Lincoln, Civil War (1861-1865)

**Memorize Gettysburg Address

The Address by Ken Burns (Documentary DVD)

Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln (Penguin Young Readers, L4) by Jean Fritz

Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
Abraham Lincoln by the D'Aulaires

Lincoln's Ten Sentences: The Story of the Gettysburg Address by Michael Clay Thompson (another fantastic exploration of the history, context, structure, grammar, vocabulary, and poetic content of the Gettysburg Address)

Abraham Lincoln's World by Genevieve Foster

:::: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

12. End of Civil War (1865), General Robert E. Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant

**Memorize “O Captain, My Captain” by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman: Words for America by Barbara Kerley

From Slave to Soldier: Based on a True Civil War Story (Ready-to-Reads)
Billy and the Rebel: Based on a True Civil War Story (Ready-to-Reads)
Civil War Sub: The Mystery of the Hunley (Penguin Young Readers, L4)
The Monitor: The Iron Warship That Changed the World (All Aboard Reading, Station Stop 3)

13. 14th Amendment (1868), Freeing Slaves, (Civil Rights Movement)

The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and Science and Invention in America by Cheryl Harness
A Weed Is a Flower : The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki
Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington

:::: Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
:::: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

14. Late 1800s, Tycoons (Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Swift), Industrial Age

All About America: The Industrial Revolution by Hilarie N. Staton
The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909
Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor
Henry Ford: Big Wheel in the Auto Industry (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Inventors and Scientists) 

15. Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Riders, Battle of San Juan Hill (Cuba) (1898)

The Remarkable Rough-Riding Life of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Empire America by Cheryl Harness

Welcome to Samantha's World-1904: Growing Up in America's New Century (American Girl)

Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth (autobiographical chapter book about a family in the early 1900s—fabulously funny)
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (fictional and lovely series about a family living in New York City at the turn of the century)

::: Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers 
:::: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

16. Immigrants (1820-1930)

**Memorize “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Betsy Maestro
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff
The Long Way to a New Land (I Can Read Book 3)
Coming to America: The Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro


17. WWI, President Wilson, sinking of the Lusitania (1914-1918)

War Game: Village Green to No-Man's-Land by Michael Foreman
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
Archie's War by Marcia Williams (historical fiction, scrapbook style from the perspective of a 10 year-old boy)
World War I (American Milestones) (workbook)

The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown (graphic-novel picture book) (1935)
Dust for Dinner (I Can Read Book - Level 3)

Amelia And Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan (1933)
Welcome to Kit's World, 1934 : Growing Up During America's Great Depression (The American Girls Collection)
26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie dePaola (A wonderful autobiographical series of beginning chapter books by children’s author and illustrator Tomie dePaola starting with his childhood in 1938 and going through WWII, these books capture the essence of what it was like to be a child living in the United States during WWII.)

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (A Mexican girl immigrates to California in 1930, historical fiction chapter book)
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Michigan, 1936, historical fiction chapter book)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mississippi, Depression-era, historical fiction chapter book)

18. Pearl Harbor, WWII (1941)

Listen to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s D-Day pre-invasion address to the troops

D-Day Landings: The Story of the Allied Invasion (DK Readers Level 4)
Pearl Harbor : Ready To Read Level 3
The Journey That Saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey
Memories of Survival by Esther Nisenthal Krinitz
The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark
War Boy: A Wartime Childhood by Michael Foreman

Twenty and Ten by Claire Hutchet Bishop (short chapter book)
The Little Riders by Margaretha Shemin (short chapter book)
Going Solo by Roald Dahl (the autobiographical account of Roald Dahl’s experience as a pilot in WWII, refreshingly enjoyable reading in the midst of a tragic time period, chapter book)

:: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
:: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
::: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

19. NATO (1949)

Korean War (1950), Vietnam (1960), and the Cold War
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (A girl from Vietnam immigrates to Alabama, autobiography)
The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam by Quang Nhuong Huynh (autobiography, short chapter book)
Water Buffalo Days: Growing Up in Vietnam by Huynh Quang Nhuong (autobiography, short chapter book)
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

20. 1954, Brown v. Board of Education, Segregation

**Memorize parts of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech (1963)

Free at Last: The Language of Dr King's Dream by Michael Clay Thompson (more history, context, grammar, poetics, and vocabulary)

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Picture Book of Rosa Parks by David A. Adler
The Story Of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Disney's Ruby Bridges (DVD)
The Rosa Parks Story (DVD)

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 (historical fiction chapter book)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Oakland, CA, 1968, Black Panthers, historical fiction chapter book)

::: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

21. 1969, U.S. Astronauts on the Moon

Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon (Step-Into-Reading, Step 5)
Look to the Stars by Buzz Aldrin
Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin
One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh

22. September 11, 2001

America Is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell (Actual Times) by Don Brown
The Little Chapel that Stood by A. B. Curtiss
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

23. Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

The Constitution of the United States of America inscribed and illustrated by Sam Fink

24. Bill of Rights

The Bill Of Rights: It Can't Be Wrong (American Milestones) (workbook)



IEW U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons, Vol. 1: Explorers–Gold Rush (for use in Classical Conversations Essentials Class)

U.S. Geography

Sheppard Software free online U.S. Geography games and quizzes (fantastic!)

The United States of America: A State-by-State Guide 


Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents by Mike Venezia (series)

Don't Know Much About the Presidents by Kenneth C. Davis


Songs and Music of America

Songs of America (Cedarmont Kids)
Wee Sing America

American Composers and Musicians

Composers of America radio shows and more at Classics for Kids

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue by Anna Harwell Celenza
George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
Leonard Bernstein (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
Aaron Copland (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
John Philip Sousa (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
Duke Ellington (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
The Beatles (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson (1937)
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

(And many recordings of great music)

[I will be posting resources for Classical Conversations Cycle 3 composers (none American) separately.]

Artists of America

50 American Artists You Should Know
13 American Artists Children Should Know

The Boy Who Loved to Draw: Benjamin West
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon

(And more books by Mike Venezia: Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper, Grandma Moses, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Winslow Homer…)

[I will be posting specific resources for Classical Conversations Cycle 3 artists (all American) in a separate post.]


Stay tuned for more American literature and poetry (including selected poems to memorize)…

*This post contains affiliate links.*


Anonymous said...

WOW! I feel like I just won the lottery! Thanks for doing all this work so I don't have to :-)

Julie said...

Such a great list of resources. Thank you!

Stephanie said...

What a treasure trove. Thank you for this wonderful resource!

Dawn said...

Heidi you have gone above and beyond! Wow. Such a treasure for us other mothers too. You really blessed me!

Unknown said...

Wow -- thank you so much for this! I'm putting this in the July CC Blog Carnival! You have done so much hard work here.

Danielle said...

Thank you so much for this list! I'm pinning it now!

Kellie said...

Thank you!!!! I've been working all day on our plans and reading list for SOTW 4 and this fills in some gaps. I think we read almost every book you listed through the Mexican War when we did SOTW 3, so I'm confident we'll enjoy the rest of your list just as much. : )

Nicole Renée said...

I've been school planning over the last few days and I somehow came across this blog post. THANK YOU!!!! Your research has proved invaluable for my planning and I am so appreciative of all your effort.

Cindy Winter Hasselblad said...

I found your blog via June 2014 CC practicum. We came into CC last year mid year. Now we are starting our 1st full year doing Foundations and Essentials. Thank you so much for posting this. I feel like books to match each week of memory work will make the work exciting! (Which we did not do last year due to illness) I am so grateful that you share as much as you do!

Mike Lintro said...

What a wonderful list of resources. My wife and I are very fond of US history books, whether they be fiction, or non-fiction. Just reading things that are written about that much simpler era, seem to give us a feeling of bliss in our lives. I am totally going to go buy a few that are on this list.

Christine said...

Thank you ever so much for this lovely list. We have been using it weekly and it's been extremely helpful. The books are just a delight. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that you will make a cycle one list also! ��