Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reading Through American History with Picture Books

When First Son was in kindergarten three years ago, we read through American history in picture books. Two or three times a week, we read picture books set in a particular time period. The books selected were mainly based on what I found in library searches and a few I had lying around; I didn't buy anything, but we were still able to read some wonderful books. I've been searching through the blog to find the particularly good ones to include for First Daughter's kindergarten year in 2012-2013. Next year, we won't read quite so many. Instead, I'm trying to find one picture book to read each week that will correspond to First Son's American history studies (Civil War through...well, as far as we get, but I'm hoping to get to September 11, 2001).

Well, I discovered that my blog records of our American history reading are rather hard to navigate, so I decided to write a post to help everyone, myself included, find them more easily.

For every time period, I was looking for living picture books. I was not particularly concerned with imparting factual knowledge like dates or big events. I wanted beautiful picture books that would delight us first and give us a feel for life in the time period second.

August and September: Pre-1600 North America - This group is mainly composed of Native American legends but also includes Columbus.

October: Colonial America through the Revolutionary War - the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, Paul Revere, Molly Pitcher, Johnny Appleseed and George Washington

November and December: Exploration, Expansion, and the Civil War - more tall tales, Sequoyah, Ox-Cart Man, the California Gold Rush, the Underground Railroad, and Abraham Lincoln

January: Reconstruction, Urbanization, and Industrialization (1865-1889) - The Statue of Liberty, immigration, and saving the buffalo

February: The Progressive Era (1890-1913) - Helen Keller, Least of All, George Washington Carver and more immigration

March: World War I and the Jazz Age (1914-1928) - The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Duke Ellington

April: The Great Depression - perseverance, family, and skyscrapers

May: Everything after the Great Depression to the present - John Steuart Curry, Art Tatum, Ella Fitzgerald, and some recommendations for later books

I spent a little time updating these posts, fixing the formatting and a few links that weren't working. I apologize to anyone who received updates in their readers for posts that are three years old.

8 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say thank you for this list! We're going over this time period with my younger Kinder this year and I've been pulling a lot from this wonderful resource you've created. Thank you!

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    1. Antonia, I'm so glad you found it helpful!

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  2. This is such a fabulous resource. I also want to thank Notgrass for sending it to me.

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    1. I'm glad you've found it helpful. You can find more recent posts on picture books using the tag for my favorite picture books. Many of those would fit into an American History study as well.

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  3. I plan to do MA this year and love your picture book list!

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  4. Thanks, Mama Sobeski! I hope you love MA; it's such a blessing for us!

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  5. I'm doing MA but wanted picture books this term for history. I reading through these with my kinder and we are loving them! After almost every one my daughter says, "wow, that was a good book!" Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Barb, I'm so glad you and your daughter are enjoying the books!

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