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Great Books

Page history last edited by Siri 11 years ago

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Learning about this period of early American history can be greatly enhanced with the use of children's literature. Consider these texts and resources for enriching student's content knowledge and literacy skills.

 

Book, Author and Wiki Content Creator
Grade level Description of Text and Lesson Materials Noteworthy!

The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World

By: Nathanial Philbrick

Website By: Mellissa N.

8th

 This book gives an accurate account of the experience of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and the hardships they encountered at Plymouth Colony.

This content was arranged around the student version of the text we all read. Lessons include multi-media, interpersonal activities and relevant connections to student lives. 

Anne Hutchinson's Way

By: Jeannine Atkins

Website By: Jeff T.

4th-6th
Anne Hutchinson sees things differently than her minister, she begins to practice her religion her way. She then fights for her freedoms.
 Teacher observation, final presentation project, and summary groups prepared.  

A Journey to the New World  

By: Kathryn Lasky

Website By: Kristina M.

4th-6th
This book is a young girl's diary throughout her trip and arrival in America on the Mayflower.  The journey changes her life forever.   Links to many useful website materials and a google map activity for learners.

Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims 

By: Kenneth C. Davis

Website By: Necoe Henneman

4th-6th 
The book explores facts about the Pilgrims journey and their first year in America. The book tells the story by answering the questions that make up the headings. Kids get to create news broadcasts in this engaging lesson.

Guests

By: Michael Dorris

Website By: Megan Snell

3rd-5th
This book is about a young Native American boy who runs away from home because his tribe has invited the Pilgrims to dinner. During his time in the forest he meets characters who challenge his thinking.
Journaling is an important part of reflecting on this text with guiding questions for each chapter.brochure hypothesize about artifacts, journals, welcome boards, vocab

If You Sailed on the Mayflower 

By: Ann McGovern

Website By: Amy Rockvam

3rd-5th
 In lively question-and-answer style, this fact-filled book answers all sorts of questions about the Pilgrims' journey on the Mayflower and their first year in America. You will find out why the Pilgrims left England to live in America, what they took with them on board the Mayflower, and the hardships they endured. They'll learn what the Mayflower Compact was, how the Pilgrims made a peace treaty with the Indians, and how these brave settlers managed to survive in their new land. 
Check out the excellent lesson in which students apply the principles of choosing a leader to the historical context represented in the text (Citizen Action lesson). An excellent cross-over of social studies content in a literary text.

Jamestown, 1607

by: Michael L. Cooper

Website by: Joe Ludens

4th-6th James town, 1607 documents the events leading up to the voyage and settlement of Jamestown as well as the events of the first few years.
Vocabulary activities are all ready to "print and play" with good variety and a certainty of student engagement.Teacher observation, group presentation.

Morning Girl 

By: Michael Dorris Website By: Kristie Noel .

3rd-5th

You learn about a young girls family and the frustration/love they give one another. You also get a viewpoint of what it felt like to see the "newcomers" come to their land for the first time. 

Looks at the perspective of a Native American coming to our classroom-how can they make them feel comfortable?

N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims 

By: Robert San Souci

Website By: Amy Malikowski

4th-6th
Dedicated to teachers, this book is perfect for the classroom.  San Souci fills the book with accurate, researched information.  The pictures themselves offer a sharp contrast to the actual life of the pilgrims, and are great for discussions. Observe how teams are working together. Posters  of jigsaw information and organization. Test on vocabulary. Students provideing a summary of what they learned. 

Our Strange New Land

By: Patricia Hermes

Website By: Amy C.

3rd-5th
This book takes the form of a young immigrant's journal that tells the story of her life in Jamestown in 1609. Since it is written from the perspective of a nine-year-old, it is sure to catch the attention of the students and spark an interest in the life of colonists.  
 Well-crafted cooperative learning lessons. A digital timeline activity.

People of the Breaking Day

By: Marcia Sewall 

Website By: Sara Nordenstrom

5th  This book is about the Wampanoags and their lives.  It contains four lessons and many links to add to this subject area.  The vocabulary is also addressed using Marzano's steps. 
Opportunity for students to work collaboratively and conduct mini-research projects.

Roanoke The Lost Colony 

By: Jane Yolen

Website By: Teri Wermerskirchen

4th-8th 
This book's narrator is a young girl interested in solving mysteries.  She suggests we look for clues as the story unfolds.  At the end several theories of possible endings are given and the reader is encouraged to make their own conclusions.  This book is a perfect springboard for research, critical thinking and group presentation.  
Students become historians and research the mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke.Observation of groups.Research Organizer CompletionGroup Presentation

Squanto and The First Thanksgiving 

By: Eric Metaxas

Website By: Katharine Borg

4th
The book tells the story of Squanto's life from birth to death, telling of his adventures and mishaps.  The lessons are focused and connected to Squanto's life style and his contribution to the success of the pilgrims survival in America. 
Examines the concept of philanthropy from the perspective of Native Americans involved in the Pilgrims' experience.

The Courage of Sarah Noble   

By: Alice Dalgliesh

Website By: Moneque Gacke

2nd Eight-year old Sarah journeys into the wilderness with her father — and ends up alone! Based on a true story.
The stage five vocabulary activity has a great list of questions and answers written to align with the book chapters. Super review of the vocabulary and content in Jeopardy style.

The First Thanksgiving

By: Jean Craighead George

Website By: Wendy D.

2nd
This book describes how the colonists aboard the Mayflower founded New Plymouth and celebrated their first harvest with a feast of thanksgiving. There are some activities here appropriate to early elementary grades.

THE JOURNAL OF JASPER JONATHAN PIERCE 

By: Ann Rinaldo 

Website By: Rachael Schumer

 6th

This secondary source links history with a young, indentured servant's possible experiences coming to America. It provides students a connection to the events that transpired on the Mayflower, and when they arrived in America.  

 

 
Exemplary lessons include an essential question, cooperative learning, primary source investigation, and journaling. Learning is assessed using group presentation, journal entries, concept maps, and rubrics. Includes home made video footage!

The Lost Colony Of Roanoke

By: Jean Fritz

Website By: Alys Mosher

5th-6th
Book-events leading up to a colony that settles in America and is completely lost before the mayflower arrives. Lesson- discussion and cooperative learning in small groups Participation, observation, presentation, notes, discussion, peer evaluation

The Pilgrims

By: R. Conrad Stein

Website By: Loretta Pexa

4-5th
I include four lessons and vocabulary that complement the book. My favorite is the citizen lesson. Make sure you check it out! 
Well-designed materials to engage learners in personal reflections on issues related to this complicated time in our past.

The Story of The Pilgrims

By: Katherine Ross 

Website By: Ciara Drexler

3rd-5th

This book introduces children to the story of The Pilgrims, their journey to America, and their first encounters with the Native Americans.    Cooperation in learning about different by playing that character. 

 Thunder From The Clear Sky

By: Marcia Sewall

Website By: Rena Jensen

4th-6th
This book tells two perspectives of the story about the relationship between the Wampanoag Tribe and the Pilgrims as the Pilgrims arrive in America. 
Very good example of doing pre-reading activities with students to begin the assignment. Also, activities to look at the different perspectives of the Wampanoag and Pilgrims. primary source investigation and journaling, rubrics provided with the lesson

 

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