Teaching History with a Book Series

Sometimes, a series of books about a certain time period lend themselves well to our history studies.  Such is the case with Adventures in Colonial America series, written by James E. Knight.  Currently, we are learning about Colonial America and the Revolutionary War.  These books fit nicely into that time period.  I believe the books may be out of print, but I was able to pick them up at a used book sale last spring.  I found five, including:
  • The Village: Life in Colonial Times
  • Salem Days: Life in a Colonial Seaport
  • Journey to Monticello: Traveling in Colonial Times
  • The Farm: Life in Colonial Pennsylvania
  • Seventh and Walnut: Life in Colonial Philadelphia

To incorporate these books into our history studies, I decided to have each of our older children read one book independently.  Each child chose a book.  They happened to chose the first three listed above.  After reading their chosen book, the child wrote a summary, or narration of the book.  The following day, each child shared their narration.  I had them practice standing up and speaking in front of our small group.  Then, after each narration we briefly discussed some of the interesting facts.

After the three older children shared their books, I read aloud the remaining two books.  While I read about farm life in colonial Pennsylvania, the three older children wrote down interesting facts in a list form on the left side of their papers.  Then, during the last book about city life in colonial Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they wrote down interesting facts in a list form on the right side of their papers.  After I had finished reading the two books, they were easily able to compare and contrast country farm living with city living during the colonial time period.  Their lists could have easily transitioned to a Venn diagram, but we chose to simply discuss the differences and similarities.

Related Post:
A Colonial ABC Lesson

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