There’s one book series that we always turn to when we’re looking for books that will teach us about history. Last year, we used the Who Was books for American History and is was so-much-fun! We now own more of these books than I can even count and the learning just keeps happening…
Here’s a video of me talking about the books! Don’t like videos? No problem! Just keep reading…
I remember when I was young that I retained very little from history class. It was so boring and, even though we learned some topics year after year, I wouldn’t remember a thing. With these books, my kids not only remembered the content, but they had FUN learning.
I chose to create our own curriculum, if you will, for using Who Was books for American history this year. (Get some free history planning pages here!) We had a baby early last fall, so I knew we’d need something laid back to do together to keep our school load light and enjoyable. The Who Was/What Was books were perfect for our inevitable couch schooling time!
Who Was books we used for American History
We focused on the American Revolution time period of American History last year. We started off with the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere. My kids made their own tea chests (made out of old shoe boxes and construction paper) to store their other papers in while we covered this topic.
Then, we moved onto the father of our country, George Washington. We were really hoping to take a visit to Mount Vernon while we read this book, but it didn’t work out. Instead, we took a virtual tour and that was definitely the next best thing! Since we love to roadschool, when we can’t get on the road to get living history, getting it virtually is a great option, too.
Next, we discussed The Declaration of Independence. This book was so much fun because it discusses people we already learned about and were going to be reading about soon. A very cool, hands on item we found was the Revolutionary War Battle Box. This has a copy of your very own Declaration of Independence, as well as so many other papers and objects to go along with all of these books and the time period.
Reading about Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin was perfect after reading about the Declaration of Independence. The books flow from one another so nicely! We learned some very interesting facts about Thomas Jefferson’s family. And, of course, Ben Franklin’s inventions.
A few books that aren’t a part of the series
I chose just a few books that weren’t a part of the series to use, as well. Famous Figures of the American Revolution has 10 different famous figures on card stock in both color and black and white. Children can cut these figures out (and color them if they choose the black and white option) and attach them together with brads to make movable figures. My youngest enjoyed coloring them while we read about the specific people.
The Biggest Battles of the Revolutionary War quickly covered the main battles of the war. I wanted to at least touch on these with my kids. It was fun for them to see who won which battle and to look on the map to see which each one took place.
Red, White and Blue: The Story of the American Flag is a quick read, but something else I wanted to cover while we were discussing this time period in history. It is an easy reader, but it does have good, factual information in it. My personal favorite part is seeing the different flags they considered to use for our country, and now recognizing those while we’re out and about today.
I love the Who Was/What Was book series!
We continue to use these books all-of-the-time. We use them before we travel somewhere to learn about the place first (yes, they are Where Is books, too!), and to learn about all kinds of people. We have chosen to use a curriculum for history this coming school year instead of creating our own, but these books will absolutely still be a part of our learning adventure. I’m looking forward to reading about the The Battle at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln, and the Underground Railroad as we explore that time in history!
Have you read any of these books? Which are your favorite? Join me on the Relaxed Homeschoolers Facebook Group to join in on the discussion! Or, drop a comment below.
All of the Who Was/What Was books we used this year are available in my shop!