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Teaching US History Through Terrific Picture Books

Page history last edited by Catherine Trinkle 12 years, 8 months ago

US History Through Picture Books:
A Year-Long Curriculum for Students in Grades 4 - 8


Native Americans

Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin, Jr. (Bookpals Storyline: http://www.storylineonline.net/)

The Legend of Sleeping Bear by Kathy Wargin

In this retelling of an Ojibwe Indian tale, a mother bear loses sight of her two cubs as they all attempt to escape a forest fire by swimming across Lake Michigan.

George Washington (1789-1797)

George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra

We the Kids by David Catrow

John, Paul, George, and Ben by Lane Smith(Reader’s Theater)

Slavery (1502-1863)

Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson(see my lesson plan in School Library Media Activities Monthly)

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

                Follow the Drinking Goud by Jeanette Winter(Reading Rainbow video is wonderful)

                Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

                George Washington Carver movie on Brainpop

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

                Abe Lincoln Remembers by Ann Turner

                The Gettysburg Address illustrated by Michael McCurdy(dramatic reading)

                Abraham Lincoln movie on Brainpop

The Presidents

                So You Want to Be President, by Jean Fritz (great timing to show around President’s Day)

Civil War

                Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco (Spoken Arts video narrated by the author)

Suffragists (1848-1920)

Thank You, Sarah (timing with Thanksgiving Day) (Spoken Arts “special appearance” video-author discusses book in video) by Laurie Halse Anderson

                Ballot Box Battle by Emily McCully


                Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel by Leslie Connor

                The Keeping Quilt (Patricia Polacco author video available)

                Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

Western Movement

                The Great Divid by Michael Bedard (1997)

                Readings from Little House on the Prairie books

John Audubon (1785-1851)

                The Boy Who Drew Birds (Readers Theater available)

Early Transportation

                Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure (1909) by Don Brown

Theodore Roosevelt  (1901-1909 presidency)

                Theodore by Frank Keating (the illustrations by Mike Wimmer are stunning)

                Mount Rushmore video on UnitedStreaming)

African American history

                Dear Mr. Rosenwald by Carole Weatherford

                A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson by David Adler


                Poem study: In Flander’s Field

Great Depression

                 The Babe and I by David Adler

                 Eleanor by Barbara Cooney


                Boxes for Katje BY Candace Flemming

                Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Raven

                Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki

Civil Rights

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

The School is Not White! By Doreen Rappaport


          When I Was young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

Latino Americans

Roberto Clemente by Jonah Winter

Vietnam War

          The Wall by Eve Bunting(Reading Rainbow video)

The Cold War

          The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

July 20, 1969

          Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin

September 11, 2001

          The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein


          My Senator and Me by Ted Kennedy        

Barn by Debbie Atwell

2010 Catherine Trinkle




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