History Year One Curriculum
Books and Materials List for Topic 2
This page contains the books and materials (plus reviews) used in our American history curriculum topic 2. In this topic of our history curriculum you will learn about the Iroqouis, Ojibwa and more.
Books and Materials for Topic 2
Treasury of Virtues (by William J. Bennet)
This is a beautifully illustrated (by Michael Hague) book with wonderful stories and poems. Even though it’s not used extensively in the schedule (compared to the volume of what it contains), it’s worth having around for free reading (and younger sibling’s bedtime stories)!
Topics: 2, 4, 5, 13, 15, 16, 17
Otter's rating: 4 stars
Birchbark House (by Louise Erdrich) 271 pages
This is a book about an Ojibwa girl, set on an island in 1847. You will learn about the Ojibwa, their customs, beliefs, foods, responses to the rhythm of the seasons and more through young Omakayas and her family. Though white people are beginning to settle nearby, life continues to go on much as it always has. Then a terrible sickness (smallpox) visits the tribe and changes things forever.
There is something refreshing about this book in the way the young Omakayas and the other children are portrayed. Both good and ugly feelings (and thoughts) are shared honestly. Omakayas is a likable character and yet you see the parts of her character that most people hide from others. It reminds me, in a way, of the Little House books in which Laura shares her selfish or “grouchy” thoughts. This provides plenty of opportunities to discuss “moral” issues and Biblical values (see our guide / notes for this book), like when Little Pinch lies or Omakayas justifies her selfishness.
*If you are not comfortable with reading about another culture’s spiritual beliefs to your child you will want to skip this book, as these are interwoven throughout the story.
There are plenty of instances of grandmother offering tobacco to the spirits, talk about visions, stories of ghosts and so on. These instances however, can be a good opportunity to reinforce and contrast your own beliefs with your child while promoting an understanding of other cultures.
will want to be careful though not to cause any confusion in your child by covering
these concepts. Some children may feel drawn to experiment with these sorts of
things while not understanding the spiritual consequences. If you feel that this
might be a danger or concern, then don’t read this book OR skip over these parts
on the fly while reading aloud (which I did for a few items). I’m NOT a spiritual
advisor, just a Christian mom, so if you have any questions, please consult your
Please be prepared for some discussion of these issues if you read this book! Our study guide / book notes gives some discussion ideas for addressing these issues from a Christian perspective.
Otter's rating: 5 stars
Hiawatha (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Pieces of the poem are presented in a way that is readable to younger students. You may want to look up the original online and read some of it out-loud to your child (instead of getting the book).
The Ojibwa Indians of the Great Lakes
This is a very colorful magazine with lots of small and varied articles about the Ojibwa Indians. Some key topics: The ancient Ojibwa, deciphering names, geographically speaking (map and migration routes), word lore, timeline, did you know section, trading: a way of life, how to make a birch bark basket, folk tale, archeology, the Ojibwa today and more. The combination of photographs, illustrations, paintings, diagrams, etc. make this fun to look at as well as read.
Otter's rating: 3 stars
Iroquois / produced and directed by InVision Communications ; executive producer,
The above url will take you to an in depth review and a free 3 minute video preview clip.
Plus previously mentioned on the page for Topic 1 books and materials:
The Story of the U.S.A. Book 1
Wee Sing America Book and CD
History Pockets, Grades 1-3, Native Americans
North American Indians
Draw Write Now Book 3
The Indian Book