Topic | Second Grade American History Spine

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  • Kath85
    Participant

    I am looking at 2nd grade American history spines for my son in the fall. We did Truthquest for 1st grade and even the simplest reading suggestions and commentary often went right over his head. Plus, it was just too much for me to wade through all those books. I have looked at the SCM American History samples and like that it covers up to modern recent times. I am also considering A Child’s First Book of American History by Earl Schenk Miers. I love the pictures as my son is very visual, but it ends after WWII and I can’t tell from the samples if there is any racial insensitivity that hasn’t been edited out in the BFB version. I’m tossing around the idea of using both books since they appear to cover slightly different topics. Then again, I’m also not positive that  these are any easier to understand than what we were reading with Tuthquest, but he could mature a good bit by fall. Thoughts or suggestions welcome!

    Crystal
    Participant

    In second grade I would say skip a spine and read all the beautiful childrens books you can get your hands on. There is a small book, almost a pamphlet really, of elementary books for AH. In chronological order. Turning Back the Pages of time. I highly recommend it for lower elementary.

    Wings2fly
    Participant

    We really enjoyed the Beautiful Feet Early American History for elementary.  They use d’Aulaire biography picture books and more.  We did not use a “spine” then, but we followed it with SCM module 6 with Stories of America vol. 2 and we really liked the picture books that went with that, too.  You can easily do your own editing as you read aloud any books.

    alphabetika
    Participant

    I agree, after having three second graders, that you don’t need a spine.  Picture books, biographies, historical fiction – those are the best!  Most children this age aren’t developmentally ready to grasp the flow of history the way they can when they’re older. Not to say you definitely shouldn’t use a spine,  just encouraging you not to agonize over it or spend a lot of time examining them when you could spend that time  on other wonderful choices that will engage your son.  There are so many fabulous picture books, in particular, that can aid in learning about the time period with illustrations of, for instance, houses and landscapes and dress of a particular period, all in the context of story. I have found this especially true of books about the American Revolution and Civil War, not surprisingly, and still use these as primary tools for my youngest daughter who is nearly ten. Between these and historical fiction, she is feasting!  With this particular daughter, I’ve decided to wait until at least middle school before I expect her to grasp the event-to-event style of a spine, currently broadening the feast instead with timeline and lots of discussion, even movies where appropriate.

    I did use the Earl S Miers book when my middle daughter was about ten, before BFB reprinted it; I found a vintage copy at a used bookstore and loved the language and the art. I don’t recall whether it included racial insensitivity, as this was over ten years ago, but I do remember thinking that some of the information went over her head even at ten. So, maybe not the best for a 2nd grader, in our family, anyway.  We do read a ton of older books that sometimes use language that we wouldn’t use in our home, but this has provided a lot of discussion points that have been valuable learning.

    Rachel White
    Participant

    D’Aulaire books,

    Jean Fritz

    Alice Dagliesh

    Clyde Robert Bulla: Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims, Pocahontas and the Strangers, 

    Eve Bunting: The Wall, Dandelions, Train to Somewhere,

     Dreaming of America, Baseball Saved Us, 

    Sam, the Minute Man, and George the Drummer-Boy

    Sarah, Plain and Tall series

    Little House series

    The Courage of Sarah Noble (set in 1707)

     

    Rachel White
    Participant

    My highest recommendation goes to:

    Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans – Edward Eggleston

    Adventures in Colonial America series – James E. Knight

    Cheryl Harness (so many great books and well illustrated!)

    Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin (about the artist)

     

    Some newer ones, expanding the category (hopefully, not overly political, you never know with newer books):

    This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration – Jacqueline Woodson

    The Other Side – Same as Above

    White Socks Only

    Russell Freedman (may be too old for his, yet)

    David Adler Picture Book series: MLK, Jr.; Helen Keller; Rosa Parks; Harriet Tubman; Jackie Robinson; Frederick Douglass; Amelia Earhart; Sacagawea; Louie Braille, more+

    Emma’s Poem: The Story of the Statue of Liberty – Linda Glaser – ages 4-8

    Hanukkah at Valley Forge– Stephen Krensky – gr. 2-4

    The Yankee at the Seder– Elka Weber – gr. 2-5

    As Good as Anybody: Martin L. King and Abraham Joshua Hershel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom– Richard Michelson – ages 6-10

    totheskydear
    Participant

    Wildwood Curriculum has some good Native American biographies on their book lists. Buffalo Bird Girl and Crazy Horse’s Vision were were good. 🙂

    Rachel White
    Participant

    D’Aulaire books,

    Jean Fritz

    Alice Dagliesh

    Clyde Robert Bulla: Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims, Pocahontas and the Strangers, 

    Eve Bunting: The Wall, Dandelions, Train to Somewhere,

     Dreaming of America, Baseball Saved Us

    Sam, the Minute Man, and George the Drummer-Boy

    Sarah, Plain and Tall series

    Little House series

    The Courage of Sarah Noble (set in 1707),

     

    Kath85
    Participant

    There are lots of great ideas here. Thank you all! You (and prayer!) confirmed my suspicion that children’s books are enough for now. After some discussion with my husband we’ve settled on Playful Pioneers since it is geared for early elementary, continues where we left off with Truthquest, has the structure I feel I need right now, and happens to be one of the few things in history for which my son has shown any spark of interest. Plus, the littler boys will be able to join in somewhat. We will save the deeper studies for later years.

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