Our American History curriculum (homeschooling)

Continuing my series on what our lesson plans look like for anyone who is considering homeschooling. This is 4th grade American history.

TEXTS:

Abeka, The History of Our United States from a Christian Perspective

Various Non-Fiction Children’s Books (noted below – there are a lot)

Age of Exploration and First Settlements

  • Introductory discussion – What distinguishes the American experiment from other countries
  • Read Chapter One – Europe: Where the New World Began; Columbus Discovers America
  • Chapter One, continued – North America is Claimed for England; America Gets Its Name; Did Anyone Ever Find a Sea Route to the Indies; A New Ocean is Formed; Ponce de Leon Explores Florida
  • Read Chapter Two – Spain: The Conquest of Mexico; France: Cartier Explores the New World
  • Chapter Two, continued – Spain: Coronado’s Search for the Seven Cities of Cibola; Spain: DeSoto Discovers the Mississippi; England: Drake the Dragon; France: The First French Settlement in the New World
  • Field Trip: St. Augustine Colonial Quarter

Native American History and Culture

  • Read Chapter Three – The Differences in American Indians; Indian Games; Indian Way of Life Changes; Missionaries to the Native Americans
  • Read Marie and Douglas Gorsline, North American Indians
  • Read Ellen Levine, If You Lived with the Iroquois
  • Read Peter and Connie Roop, If You Lived with the Cherokee
  • Read Ann McGovern, If You Lived with the Sioux Indians
  • Read Geraldine Woods, The Navajo
  • Read Bill Martin and John Archambault, Knots on a Counting Rope
  • Read E.K. Caldwell, Bear
  • Read Jonathan London, Fire Race: A Karuk Coyote Tale
  • Read Tim Jessell, Amorak
  • Read North American Indian (DK)

The Colonial Period

  • Read Chapter Four – Planting a Colony; England and the Bible; The Lost Colony
  • Chapter Four, continued – Jamestown: The First Lasting English Colony
  • Read Joyce Milton, Pocahontas: An American Princess
  • Chapter Four, continued – The Pilgrims: Lovers of Religious Freedom
  • Read Ann McGovern, If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620
  • Read Chapter Five – Settling the North; The Massachusetts Bay Colony; The Puritans; Governor John Winthrop: Rhode Island and Roger Williams; New Hampshire; Connecticut
  • Read Avi, Finding Providence: The Story of Roger Williams
  • Read Chapter Six – New York; Delaware; New Jersey
  • Chapter Six, continued – Pennsylvania and the Quakers
  • Chapter Six, continued – Virginia; Maryland; The Carolinas; Georgia: England’s Last Colony; Many People, One Land
  • Chapter Seven – A Picture of Colonial Life
  • Read Ann McGovern, If You Lived in Colonial Times
  • Read Barbara Brenner, If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Times
  • Introductory discussion – What was the “Great Awakening” and how did it shape American culture?
  • Read Chapter Seven – Jonathan Edwards: A Great Puritan Preacher; John Wesley: Founder of the Methodist Church; George Whitefield: The Great Evangelist to America; Missionary Work in America
  • Read Chapter Nine – New France and Its Colonies; The Differences between French and American Colonies; The French and English Become Enemies
  • Chapter Nine, continued – The French and Indian War and Its Historical Significance

The American Revolution and Basic Civics

  • Read Chapter Ten – Thirteen English Colonies in America; The American Colonies Demand their Rights as Englishmen; Stamp Act; More Problems
  • Chapter Ten, continued – The Colonists Speak Out; New Taxes; The Boston Massacre; The Boston Tea Party
  • Chapter Ten, continued – The Revolutionary War Begins; The Colonists Prepare to Fight; The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
  • Read Esther Forbes, America’s Paul Revere
  • Read “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Chapter Ten, continued – The Second Continental Congress; The Battle for Bunker Hill; Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys; More Decisions
  • Chapter Ten, continued – The Declaration of Independence
  • Read the Declaration of Independence
  • Read James Cross Giblin, Thomas Jefferson: A Picture Book Biography
  • Chapter Ten, continued – The War Continues; The Colonial Army in New York City; Patriots Who Risked Their Lives; The Colonial Army at Trenton, New Jersey; A Flag for Our Country
  • Chapter Ten, continued: The Colonial Army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; The War on the Frontier; A New Navy; The War in the South; Victory at Yorktown, October 1781; Treaty of Paris
  • Read, Kay Moore, If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution
  • Read Chapter Eleven – After the War for Independence; The Articles of Confederation; The Constitution of the United States; A Brand-New Government
  • Read Elizabeth Levy, If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
  • Read Syl Sobel, How the US Government Works
  • Read Elissa Grodin, D is for Democracy: A Citizen’s Alphabet
  • Chapter Eleven, continued – The New Republic; An Election; A New Capital
  • Read Ruth Belov Gross, If You Grew Up with George Washington

Manifest Destiny and Its Consequences

  • Read Chapter Twelve: America Pushes Farther West; Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road; Settling the Northwest Territory; The Land Ordinances
  • Chapter Twelve, continued: The United States Doubles in Size; The Louisiana Territory; The War of 1812 and Its Historical Significance; Our National Anthem
  • Read Joyce Milton, Sacajawea: Her True Story
  • Chapter Twelve, continued: The Purchase of Florida; The Second Great Awakening
  • Chapter Twelve, continued: The United States Gains the Southwest; Texas Decides to Fight for Independence: The Alamo; War with Mexico; The Gadsden Purchase
  • Read Elaine Landau, The Alamo: Would You Join the Fight?
  • Chapter Twelve, continued: The Great Rush to California; The Oregon Territory; An Education System Evolves
  • Read Joseph Bruchac, The Trail of Tears; discuss how forcefully relocating Native Americans was a destructive aspect of settling the former colonies and new territories

Pioneers

  • Read Ellen Levine, If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon
  • How It All Began
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Mapping the Way
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – The Decision to Go West
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Wagon Trains
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Hardships on the Trail
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Popular Routes
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Building Homes
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Frontier Farming and Food
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – At Home and At School
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Fun and Holidays
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Cowboys and Indians
  • Rachel Dickinson, Great Pioneer Projects – Documenting the West
  • Play the Oregon Trail board game
  • Read Tod Cody, The Cowboy’s Handbook: How to Become a Hero of the Wild West
  • DK Eyewitness Books, The Wild West
  • Read Bree Burns, Sitting Bull and Other Legendary Native American Chiefs

Slavery in America

  • Read Chapter Thirteen – The North with Slavery; The South with Slavery; Troubled Times
  • Read Patricia McKissack, Amistad: The Story of a Slave Ship
  • Read Anne Kamma, If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America
  • Somersett
    • Quaker Protest
    • A Prince
    • A Vanished Slave and His Return
    • A Kidnapped Child
    • Jenny Slew
  • Read Virginia Hamilton, Many Thousand Gone: African-Americans from Slavery to Freedom – Part Two
    • Elizabeth Freeman
    • The Right of Chloe
    • Advertisements
    • Th Gabriel Prosser Uprising
    • Josiah Henson, Running-Away and Guide
    • A Slave
    • The Nat Turner Rebellion
    • Some Conductors on the Underground Railroad
    • Eliza
    • Isabella, Sojourner
    • The Captain of the Pearl
    • Solomon Northrup
    • Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey
    • The Brave Conductor
    • “All Right, Sir!”
  • Read Virginia Hamilton, Many Thousand Gone: African-Americans from Slavery to Freedom – Part Three
    • Anthony Burns
    • A Mother’s Despair
    • A Slave from Missouri
    • A Kentucky Runaway
    • Alexander Ross, Down from Canada
    • Jackson, of Alabama
    • Wisdom
    • An Unnamed Fugitive
    • Three Fugitives
    • Exodus
    • Proclamation
    • Deliverance
    • The Tide of Freedom
  • Read Ellen Levine, If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad
  • Read Monica Kulling, Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman
  • Read Marie Bradbury, More than Anything Else

The Civil War

  • Chapter Thirteen, continued – The Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Chapter Thirteen, continued – The Battles in the Civil War
  • Read Ann Turner, Drummer Boy: Marching to the Civil War
  • Read Kate Boehm-Jerome, Civil War Sub: The Mystery of the Hanley
  • Read Patrick O’Brien, Duel of the Ironclads: The Monitor vs The Virginia
  • Read Jean Fritz, Just a Few Words, Mr. Lincoln: The Story of the Gettysburg Address
  • Read D’Aulaires’ Abraham Lincoln
  • Read Ann McGovern, If You Grew Up with Abraham Lincoln
  • Chapter 13, continued – The Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
  • Read Stephen Krensky, A Man for All Seasons: The Life of George Washington Carver; discuss what life was like for former slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation, opportunities and problems

Reconstruction and the Gilded Age

  • Read Chapter Fourteen – Rebuilding the South and The Last Frontier
  • Chapter Fourteen, continued – Indian Reservations; Railroads; The Homestead Act; The Oklahoma Land Rush; Cyrus McCormick
  • Read Chapter Fifteen – Immigration
  • Read Ellen Levine, If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island
  • Read Elvira Woodruff, The Memory Coat
  • Read Amy Hest, When Jessie Came Across the Sea
  • Read Russell Freedman, Immigrant Kids
  • Discussion – Immigrants in our own family from Finland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland; Catholic heritage brought with them
  • Read R. Conrad Stein, The Story of the Erie Canal; discuss the role immigrant labor played in massive public works projects like canals and railroads
  • Chapter Fifteen, continued – Steel and Oil; Famous American Inventors
  • Field Trip – John D. Rockefeller’s House in Ormond Beach
  • Read George Shea, First Flight: The Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers
  • Read Chapter Sixteen – Alaska and Hawaii
  • Watch “The Great Alaskan Race”; discuss the origins of the Iditarod
  • Chapter Sixteen, continued – The Spanish-American War and the Rough Riders; The Panama Canal
  • Read Chapter Seventeen – World War I
  • Chapter Seventeen, continued – The Roaring Twenties
  • Documentary on the Roaring Twenties
  • Chapter Seventeen, continued – The Great Depression
  • Read Steven Otfinoski, The Great Depression
  • Read Don Nardo, Migrant Mother: How a Photograph Defined the Great Depression

The World Wars and Modern American History

  • Chapter Seventeen, continued – The World Between the Wars; The Rise of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism
  • Read Angela Gluck Wood, Holocaust: The Events and Their Impact on Real People; DVD of Holocaust Survivors’ Stories
  • Read Michelle McCann, Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen
  • Chapter Seventeen, continued – World War II Begins; The United States Builds Its Armed Forces; Germany Attacks England; Hitler Surprises the Russians; Three Wars in One
  • Chapter Seventeen, continued – The Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Read Shelley Tanaka, Attack on Pearl Harbor: The True Story of The Day America Entered World War II
  • Watch “Midway” movie about the war in the Pacific
  • Read Shelley Tanaka, D-Day: A Day that Changed America; discuss great-grandfather’s role in storming Normandy
  • Chapter Seventeen, continued – Victory Comes at Last; Continuing World Problems; Berlin is Divided; the Korean War; discuss family members who served in Korea
  • Chapter Eighteen – Freedom and Opportunity for All Americans
  • Read Robert Coles, The Story of Ruby Bridges
  • Read Ellen Levine, If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King
  • Read Philip Caputo, 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War
  • Read Vietnam War (DK); discuss experiences of Vietnam veterans in the family
  • Read Judy Donnelly, Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon
  • Read James Buckley Jr., Home Address: ISS, International Space Station
  • Field Trip: Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral
  • Read Mitch Frank, Understanding September 11th: Answering Questions about the Attack on America
  • Reflections on what we’ve learned about our country

Unit on Florida History

  • Abeka, My State Notebook (research project)

TEXT: Abeka, Geography Teaching Maps

  • The World, Charts 1-2
  • North America – Physical Map, Charts 3-4
  • North America – Political Map, Charts 5-6
  • Early Settlements, Charts 7-8
  • The 13 Original Colonies, Charts 9-10
  • Our Nation Grows, Charts 11-12
  • Landforms, Charts 13-14
  • United States – Political, Charts 15-16

TEXT: Abeka, The History of Our United States, Geography / Maps and Reviews

TEXT: Kate Siber, National Parks of the USA

  • East
  • Central
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Southwest
  • West
  • Alaska and Tropics

Jason Chin, The Grand Canyon

Susan, Goodman, On this Spot: An Expedition through Time

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