Because of the situation with the student that I tutor, I have been faced with introducing history, specifically American History, to a child who has had little or no history at all. While he had an astounding vocabulary, his reading skills were so alarmingly low (starting at 1.5 (at best) reading level, when he should have been at 5.0). There have been so many challenges, and I felt I had to be careful as not to discourage him with a reading level too high or hard to comprehend, or even something that seemed to juvenile as to make him feel embarrassed.
I first started with A Child’s Story of America when he first arrived, and soon realize that I needed to supplement to fill in all the holes he had. I was overwhelmed to say the least.
That’s why I was thrilled to pull out the following different types of historical biographical type books written for just for kids. These series that have made learning history more fun, presented from a viewpoint and level that he can understand, challenging enough, and he actually looked forward to reading each new book.
These were a HIT! While the regular text book helped us stay on track through New World History this year consistently, I was able to use these to supplement and fill in gaps. We all learned tremendously this year about some fantastic and important people! I’d like to share these with you.
Before I made History by Peter and Connie Roop is a really great series for kids as
they focus on how the famous people were as kids growing up: Family life, parents, education, struggles, goals, events that shaped them into who we know as them in history. Each book includes 10 chapters (1 realistic B&W illustrated page and 4-5 reading pages). While there are still challenging words, they are on a 3.5 RL.
Betsy Ross, George Washington, Henry Ford, Helen Keller, Edison, The Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, Abe Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Ben Franklin, Martin Luther King, Paul Revere
Who Was… There are about 40 books in this series with black-and-white illustrations as well as a time line that guides readers through each eventful period in history at the back of each book. Each book has 10-12 chapters, illustrations that help explain relevant points in the book (how bees pollinates an apple blossom, what is inside a covered wagon, what is WW1,maps, people, and more. People included in this series are:
- Harry Houdini, JF Kennedy, Mark Twain, Ben Franklin, Elvis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Louis Armstrong, Queen Elizabeth, Marco Polo, Anne Frank, Leonardo da Vinci, King Tut, Ronald Reagan, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Sacagawea, Jim Henson, Ferdinand Magellan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mozart, Disney, Daniel Boone, Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Monet, Neil Armstrong, Helen Keller, The Beatles, Shakespeare, Annie Oakley, Maria Tallchief, Barack Obama, Picasso.
I hope you’ll take the opportunity to explore these historical biographies for kids and have fun learning about the people that paved the way for us! If you want to explore other book review just for kids, head on over to The Adventure of Motherhood: Feed Me Books Friday!