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American History with American Girls


LauraBeth475
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A couple of people asked about this in one of the planning threads, so here are the lesson plans I wrote for my girls to do American history with a combination of American Girl and Childhood of Famous Americans books.

 

We do school 4 days a week, so that worked out to 12 lessons for each girl's unit.  I listed the extra AG books and scheduled some history audiobooks we like at the end of each unit; I'm not going to schedule those but just pull from them as we're interested.

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Kaya 

 

Day 1: Meet Kaya chapers 1-2

            The Story of America pages 6-9

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Kaya chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 180-181

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Kaya's Escape! 

            Kaya's World Intro and Chapter 1: We the People

Day 4: Kaya's Escape!

            Kaya's World Chapter 2: Growing Up

Day 5: Kaya's Hero

            Kaya's World Chapter 3: The Beauty of Life

Day 6: Kaya's Hero

            Kaya's World Chapter 4: The Rhythm of the Seasons

Day 7: Kaya and the Lone Dog

            Kaya's World Chapter 5: Expanding Horizons and Conc.

Day 8: Kaya and the Lone Dog

            Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker pages 11-46

Day 9: Kaya Shows the Way

            Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker pages 47-76

Day 10: Kaya Shows the Way

            Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker pages 77-104

Day 11: Changes for Kaya

            Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker pages 105-137

Day 12: Changes for Kaya

            Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker pages 138-end

 

 

Kaya's Short Story Collection

The Silent Stranger (A Kaya Mystery)

The Ghost Wind Stallion (A Kaya Mystery)

 

Clash of Cultures by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 3 chapters 1-11

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Felicity

 

Day 1: Meet Felicity chapters 1-3

            The Story of America pages 10-13

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Felicity chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            History Year By Year pages 186-189

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Felicity Learns a Lesson

            Felicity's World Intro: Welcome to Felicity's World

Day 4: Felicity Learns a Lesson

            Felicity World Chapter 1: Growing Up

Day 5: Felicity's Surprise chapters 1-3

            Felicity's World Chapter 2: At Home, at Work

Day 6: Felicity's Surprise chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            Felicity's World Chapter 3: Every Man and Woman His Own Doctor

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Felicity!

            Felicity's World Chapter 4: Disturbing the King's Peace and Conc.

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Felicity!

            Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days pages 11-54

Day 9: Felicity Saves the Day

            Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days pages 55-80

Day 10: Felicity Saves the Day

            Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days pages 81-124

Day 11: Changes for Felicity

            Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days pages 125-167

Day 12: Changes for Felicity

            Abigail Adams: Girl of Colonial Days pages 168-end

 

Felicity's Short Story Collection

Very Funny, Elizabeth

Peril at King's Creek (A Felicity Mystery)

Traitor in Williamsburg (A Felicity Mystery)

Lady Margaret's Ghost (A Felicity Mystery)

Felicity's Cookbook

Felicity's Craft Book

 

The American Revolution by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 3 chapters 12-23

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Caroline

 

Day 1: Meet Caroline

            The Story of America pages 14-17

            Timeline, notebooking pages, map

Day 2: Meet Caroline

            History Year by Year pages 202-203

            Timeline, notebooking pages

Day 3: Caroline's Secret Message

            Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl pages 11-48

Day 4: Caroline's Secret Message

            Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl pages 49-89

Day 5: A Surprise for Caroline

            Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl pages 90-128

Day 6: A Surprise for Caroline

            Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl pages 129-154

Day 7: Caroline Takes a Chance

            Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl pages 155-end

Day 8: Caroline Takes a Chance

            Sacagawea: American Pathfinder pages 11-43

Day 9: Caroline's Battle

            Sacagawea: American Pathfinder pages 44-79

Day 10: Caroline's Battle

            Sacagawea: American Pathfinder pages 80-114

Day 11: Changes for Caroline

            Sacagawea: American Pathfinder pages 115-148

Day 12: Changes for Caroline

            Sacagawea: American Pathfinder pages 149-end

 

Traitor in the Shipyard (A Caroline Mystery)

The Traveler's Tricks (A Caroline Mystery)

The Smuggler's Secrets (A Caroline Mystery)

 

The Jeffersonian Republicans: The Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812 by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 3 chapters 24-33

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Josefina

 

Day 1: Meet Josefina chapters 1-2

            The Story of America pages 18-21

            Timeline, notebooking pages, map

Day 2: Meet Josefina chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 204-205

Day 3: Josefina Learns a Lesson chapters 1-2

            Josefina's World Intro. and Chapter 1: Home

Day 4: Josefina Learns a Lesson chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Josefina's World Chapter 2: Rhythm of Life

Day 5: Josefina's Surprise chapters 1-2

            Josefina's World Chapter 3: Community

Day 6: Josefina's Surprise chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Josefina's World Chapter 4: Links to Spain and Mexico

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Josefina! 

            Josefina's World Chapter 5: Meeting of the Frontiers and Conc.

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Josefina!

            Elizabeth Blackwell: Girl Doctor pages 11-45

Day 9: Josefina Saves the Day

            Elizabeth Blackwell: Girl Doctor pages 46-92

Day 10: Josefina Saves the Day

            Elizabeth Blackwell: Girl Doctor pages 93-139

Day 11: Changes for Josefina chapter 1-2

            Elizabeth Blackwell: Girl Doctor pages 140-175

Day 12: Changes for Josefina chapter 3-4 and Looking Back

            Elizabeth Blackwell: Girl Doctor pages 176-end

 

Josefina's Short Story Collection

Secrets in the Hills (A Josefina Mystery)

The Glowing Heart (A Josefina Mystery)

Josefina's Craft Book

Josefina's Cookbook

 

Hispanic America, Texas, and the Mexican War by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 3 chapters 34-40

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Marie-Grace and Cecile

 

Day 1: Meet Marie-Grace

            The Story of America pages 22-25

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Marie-Grace

            History Year by Year pages 218-219

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Meet Cecile

            Sojourner Truth: Voice of Freedom pages 1-28

Day 4: Meet Cecile

            Sojourner Truth: Voice of Freedom pages 29-57

Day 5: Marie-Grace and the Orphans

            Sojourner Truth: Voice of Freedom pages 58-88

Day 6: Marie-Grace and the Orphans

            Sojourner Truth: Voice of Freedom pages 89-126

Day 7: Troubles for Cecile

            Sojourner Truth: Voice of Freedom pages 127-end

Day 8: Troubles for Cecile

            Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross pages 11-50

Day 9: Marie-Grace Makes a Difference

            Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross pages 51-83

Day 10: Marie-Grace Makes a Difference

            Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross pages 84-123

Day 11: Cecile's Gift

            Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross pages 124-151

Day 12: Cecile's Gift

            Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross pages 152-end

 

The Hidden Gold (A Marie-Grace and Cecile Mystery)

The Cameo Necklace (A Marie-Grace and Cecile Mystery)

The Haunted Opera (A Marie-Grace and Cecile Mystery)

 

Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 3 chapters 41-42

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Kirsten

 

Day 1: Meet Kirsten chapters 1-3

            The Story of America pages 26-29

            Timeline, notebooking pages, map

Day 2: Meet Kirsten chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 214-215

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Kirsten Learns a Lesson chaptes 1-3

            Kirsten's World Intro. and Chapter 1: The New Land

Day 4: Kirsten Learns a Lesson chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            Kirsten's World Chapter 2: Settling In

Day 5: Kirsten's Surprise chapters 1-3

            Kirsten's World Chapter 3: Frontier Life

Day 6: Kirsten's Surprise chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            Kirsten's World Chapter 4: A Rich Mix

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Kirsten!

            Kirsten's World Chapter 5: Dakota Conflict

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Kirsten!

            Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer pages 11-52

Day 9: Kirsten Saves the Day

            Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer pages 53-89

Day 10: Kirsten Saves the Day

            Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer pages 90-125

Day 11: Changes for Kirsten

            Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer pages 126-165

Day 12: Changes for Kirsten

            Laura Ingalls Wilder: Young Pioneer pages 166-end

 

Kirsten's Short Story Collection

The Runaway Friend (A Kirsten Mystery)

Kirsten's Craft Book

Kirsten's Cookbook

 

Indians, Cowboys, and Farmers by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 chapters 1-4

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Addy

 

Day 1: Meet Addy chapters 1-3

            The Story of America pages 30-33

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Addy chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 220-223

            Timeline, notebooking pages

Day 3: Addy Learns a Lesson

            Addy's World Intro: Welcome to Addy's World

Day 4: Addy Learns a Lesson

            Addy's World Chapter 1: North to Freedom

Day 5: Addy's Surprise

            Addy's World Chapter 2: The South

Day 6: Addy's Surprise

            Addy's World Chapter 3: At War Within

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Addy!

            Addy's World Chapter 4: Starting New Lives and Conc.

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Addy!

            Harriet Tubman: Freedom's Trailblazer pages 1-44

Day 9: Addy Saves the Day chapters 1-2

            Harriet Tubman: Freedom's Trailblazer pages  45-80

Day 10: Addy Saves the Day chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Harriet Tubman: Freedom's Trailblazer pages  81-123

Day 11: Changes for Addy

            Harriet Tubman: Freedom's Trailblazer pages  124-150

Day 12: Changes for Addy

            Harriet Tubman: Freedom's Trailblazer pages  151-189

 

Addy's Short Story Collection 

Shadows on Society Hill (An Addy Mystery)

Addy's Craft Book

Addy's Cookbook

 

The Civil War by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 5-11

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Samantha

 

Day 1: Meet Samantha chapters 1-3

            The Story of America pages 34-37

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Samantha chapters 4-6 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 236-237

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Samantha Learns a Lesson

            Samantha's World Intro. and Chapter 1: From Country to City

Day 4: Samantha Learns a Lesson

            Samantha's World Chapter 2: Health, Fitness, and Coca-Cola

Day 5: Samantha's Surprise

            Samantha's World Chapter 3: Happiness Moments

Day 6: Samantha's Surprise

            Samantha's World Chapter 4: The Immigrants

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Samantha!

            Samantha's World Chapter 5: The Reformers

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Samantha!

            Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women's Rights pages 11-52

Day 9: Samantha Saves the Day

            Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women's Rights pages 53-84

Day 10: Samantha Saves the Day

            Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women's Rights pages 85-122

Day 11: Changes for Samantha

            Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women's Rights pages 123-160

Day 12: Changes for Samantha

            Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women's Rights pages 161-end

 

Nellie's Promise

Samantha's Short Story Collection

The Curse of Ravenscourt (A Samantha Mystery)

The Stolen Sapphire (A Samantha Mystery)

The Cry of the Loon (A Samantha Mystery)

Clue in the Castle Tower (A Samantha Mystery)

Danger is Paris (A Samantha Mystery)

Samantha's Craft Book

Samantha's Cookbook

Samantha's Friendship Fun

Samantha's Ocean Liner Adventure

 

The Rise of Industry by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 chapters 12-17

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Rebecca

(I did something a bit different here, and scheduled an overview of world religions for the history selections. The Celebrations book is for elementary, and One World, Many Religions could be used for upper elementary or middle school.)

 

Day 1: Meet Rebecca chapters 1-3

            The Story of America pages 38-41

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Rebecca chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 240-243

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Rebecca and Ana chapters 1-3

            Celebrations pages 14-15 (Purim)

            One World, Many Religions pages 1-5

Day 4: Rebecca and Ana chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            Celebrations pages 52-53 (Hanukkah)

            One World, Many Religions pages 6-11

Day 5: Candlelight for Rebecca

            Celebrations pages 22-23 (Fassika/Easter)

            One World, Many Religions pages 13-17

Day 6: Candlelight for Rebecca

            Celebrations pages 56-57 (Christmas)

            One World, Many Religions pages 18-22

Day 7: Rebecca and the Movies

            Celebrations pages 36-37 (Eid ul-Fitr)

            One World, Many Religions pages 25-28

Day 8: Rebecca and the Movies

            picture book about Ramadan

            One World, Many Religions pages 29-34

Day 9: Rebecca to the Rescue

            Celebrations pages 18-19 (Holi)

            One World, Many Religions pages 37-42

Day 10: Rebecca to the Rescue

            Celebrations pages 50-51 (Diwali)

            One World, Many Religions pages 43-46

Day 11: Changes for Rebecca

            Celebrations pages 32-33 (Esala Perahera)

            One World, Many Religions pages 49-52

Day 12: Changes for Rebecca

            Celebrations 16-17

            One World, Many Religions pages 54-60

 

Secrets at Camp Nokomis (A Rebecca Mystery)

A Bundle of Trouble (A Rebecca Mystery)

The Crystal Ball (A Rebecca Mystery)

A Growing Suspicion (A Rebecca Mystery)

 

A Century of Immigration by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 chapters 18-23

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Kit

 

Day 1: Meet Kit chapters 1-2

            The Story of America pages 42-45

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Kit chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 248-251

            Timeline, Notebooking page

Day 3: Kit Learns a Lesson

            Kit's World Intro: Welcome to Kit's World

Day 4: Kit Learns a Lesson

            Kit's World Chapter 1: Want Amid Plenty

Day 5: Kit's Surprise

            Kit's World Chapter 2: From Bread Bowl to Dust Bowl

Day 6: Kit's Surprise

            Kit's World Chapter 3: How We Coped

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Kit! Chapters 1-2

            Kit's World Chapter 4: A New Deal and Conc.

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Kit! Chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator pages 11-63

Day 9: Kit Saves the Day chapters 1-2

            Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator pages 64-100

Day 10: Kit Saves the Day chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator pages 101-146

Day 11: Changes for Kit chapters 1-2

            Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator pages 147-204

Day 12: Changes for Kit chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Amelia Earhart: Young Aviator pages 205-end

 

Really Truly Ruthie

Kit's Short Story Collection

Danger at the Zoo (A Kit Mystery)

Midnight in Lonesome Hollow (A Kit Mystery)

A Thief in the Theater (A Kit Mystery)

Missing Grace (A Kit Mystery)

Intruders at Rivermead Manor (A Kit Mystery)

The Jazzman's Trumpet (A Kit Mystery)

Kit's Friendship Fun

Kit's Railway Adventure

 

Progressivism, the Great Depression, and the New Deal by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 chapters 24-26

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Molly

 

Day 1: Meet Molly chapters 1-2

            The Story of America pages 46-49

            Timeline, notebooking page, map

Day 2: Meet Molly chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            History Year by Year pages 260-261

            Timeline, notebooking page

Day 3: Molly Learns a Lesson 

            Molly's World Intro. and Chapter 1: Declaring War

Day 4: Molly Learns a Lesson

            Molly's World Chapter 2: Making Do

Day 5: Molly's Surprise chapters 1-2

            Molly's World Chapter 3: Taking Charge

Day 6: Molly's Surprise chapters 3-4 and Looking Back

            Molly's World Chapter 4: Morale Boosters

Day 7: Happy Birthday, Molly! Chapters 1-3

            Molly's World Chapter 5: The War Front and Conc.

Day 8: Happy Birthday, Molly! Chapters 4-5 and Looking Back

            Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice pages 11-34

Day 9: Molly Saves the Day

            Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice pages 35-69

Day 10: Molly Saves the Day

            Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice pages 70-112

Day 11: Changes for Molly

            Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice pages 113-158

Day 12: Changes for Molly

            Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice pages 159-end

 

Molly's Short Story Collection 

Brave Emily

A Spy on the Home Front

 

The United States in World War II by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 chapters 27-34

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Melody

 

Day 1: No Ordinary Sound chapters 1-3

            The Story of America pages 54-57

            Timeline, notebooking pages, map

Day 2: No Ordinary Sound chapters 4-6

            History Year by Year pages 274-277

            Timeline, notebooking pages

Day 3: No Ordinary Sound chapters 7-9

            Rosa Parks: Young Rebel pages 11-52

Day 4: No Ordinary Sound chapters 10-12

            Rosa Parks: Young Rebel pages 53-80

Day 5: No Ordinary Sound chapters 13-15

            Rosa Parks: Young Rebel pages 81-132

Day 6: No Ordinary Sound chapters 16-18

            Rosa Parks: Young Rebel pages 133-171

Day 7: Never Stop Singing chapters 1-3

            Rosa Parks: Young Rebel pages 177-222

Day 8: Never Stop Singing chapters 4-6

            Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights pages 1-48

Day 9: Never Stop Singing chapters 7-9

            Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights pages 49-94

Day 10: Never Stop Singing chapters 10-12

            Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights pages 95-136

Day 11: Never Stop Singing chapters 13-15

            Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights pages 137-176

Day 12: Never Stop Singing chapters 16-17 and Inside Melody's World

            Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights pages 177-end

 

The Lady's Slipper (A Melody Mystery)

Music in My Heart: My Journey with Melody

 

The Changing Face of American Society by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

SOTW 4 chapters 35-42

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We did almost this exactly same plan when we did our American Girl studies! I just want to encourage anyone out there to try this; my girls and I did this as our history studies for the past two years and it was just the best. It gave them so much context for American history. (We now constantly say things like, "Yes, that happened during Addy's time," or "That event happened between Molly and Julie" etc.) I just feel like my kids have a solid mental timeline for American history now. (And no, the novels aren't great literature or anything, but they make the time period so accessible to kids, and the nonfiction books (Molly's World, etc.) are excellent. We also added in nonfiction picture books about relevant figures, events, and presidents, etc. It was great!

 

My oldest is about to begin 5th grade, so we're returning to the classic history cycle/the ancients this year, but I thought American history and especially the American Girl stuff was so great for early elementary. (It's so great of you to share your plans!)

 

The American Girl audiobooks are also great. (We read the actual books, but my girls wanted to listen to the audiobooks from the library over and over again afterward.) Anyway, highly recommend! :-)

Edited by EKT
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A couple quick questions. My daughter has 2 AG dolls but really isn't into them. Do you think the books can still spark an interest in history? And the reverse: did reading the books make the kids want more dolls? I ask because I want to study history with her but am not sure if this line of books is too much of a commercial for AG. Sorry if my questions seem silly or whatnot but I'm just not too familiar with this brand.

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The books are, IMO, awesome. They're not a commercial at all and can be done without ever owning a doll. They don't dumb down the hard parts of history (Kirsten's best friend dies of Cholera on the boat over). As someone said, they're not high literature, but reading them with my DD, I am struck by how good they are at taking the history and making it interesting and tangible to a young girl. And then at the back (of the old books, don't know about the Beforevers), there is always a section that talks about anything in the story that might not have been 100% accurate or typical, as well as having pictures and descriptions of a many other pertinent things. DD loves them and they spawn so many interesting discussions.

We're doing a two year AG history unit, but ours is mostly reading+hands on. Lots of fun crafts and field trips planned!

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Any recommendations on what age to start? Did anyone start this while running older history cycles? DD is almost 5 and I'm planning on doing Ancients but I'm worried if I wait 3-4 years to do AG concurrent with history she will be too old for it.

 

EarthMerlin I had Samantha as a child and originally the doll line was meant to teach or at least familiarize girls with different periods in history. I think studying the books for the dolls could reignite a love for the dolls but I don't think you need to worry about it being a commercial. Especially since so many of the historical dolls are retired now (think Disney vault) so you couldn't even buy them if you wanted to. You could always consider buying an outfit or something from a doll collection that's still available and having her dolls dress up. I enjoyed reading about the dolls and looking at their collections in the catalog brought the different periods to life when I was young. Have you checked your library for the books? You might be able to see if she likes them that way.

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My DD is 8 and loving them. I think 7-9 is really prime age for loving them AND understanding them. We read some when she was several years younger and she enjoyed them, but she didn't get nearly as much out of them. The discussion we are having this time around about different cultures or ways of life vs. ours are great!
 

Now, the books aren't challenging for that age, especially if you have an advanced reader, but that just makes it easier to read them all without it taking forever. 

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Yes, as far as ages, we started our 2-year study when my girls were 8 and 6, and finished when they were 9 and 7. It was perfect! (Though there is definitely no objectionable content in any of the books, if you happen to have smaller ears listening along to the read-alouds.) But I agree that 6-9-ish is the perfect age range to not only enjoy the stories, but also to retain important historical facts and really understand/contextualize everything. 

 

FWIW, I originally started doing ancients (the classical history cycle) when my oldest was in first grade, but she just wasn't connecting with the content--it seemed too abstract to her, I think. So we fumbled around for a bit, but I finally decided to ditch the classical cycle until 5th grade and just do American history for 1-4th grades. It worked well for us! My girls really seemed to be able to understand things that happened here, you know? It helps that we live on the east coast where lots of significant early American history took place, and we were able to weave in lots of exciting field trips, etc. Now that my oldest is headed into 5th, we are picking up the classical cycle once again (ancients, this coming year) and I don't think my girls have been harmed a bit academically because of those decisions. 

 

As for the commercialism of AG, the historical books are really not commercial at all. I mean, they were obviously originally produced by the AG company for the purpose of selling their stuff, but nothing in the books themselves is trying to sell you something. My daughters each have a TrulyMe AG doll (a doll that looks like them, not a historical character), but that's it. We enjoy AG, and will occasionally buy doll food or outfits for holidays, etc., but our two-year history unit has not turned my kids into shopaholics or anything, I promise! You can absolutely enjoy the books alone with no worries about the commercial aspect. (In fact, if your kids don't know that AG dolls exist, they are going to think the historical characters are akin to any other character in any other book.) 

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Hey, I have this nonfiction reading list that we used; I figured I'd add it here for anyone who might want it. (It took me all of two seconds to cut and paste it from my own Google doc!) But basically, we read the historical novels in the same way as the OP, then we would read these nonfiction books. (The book The American Story also had relevant chapters I sprinkled in wherever possible.) We would do field trips wherever possible, too. We studied 8 historical characters in all, but some we spent more time on some than on others. (For instance, we did quite a deep dive with Kirsten, reading all 9 of the Little House books for our bedtime read alouds at that time. We were also deeply interested in Addy's and Felicity's times.) But all of the time periods are fascinating!

 

Note: All of the books below were available at our library, so YMMV. Hope this is helpful to someone!

 

 

Nonfiction books for Kaya:

  • Welcome to Kaya's World, 1764: Growing Up in a Native American Homeland by Dottie Raymer
  • The Nez Perce: A First Americans Book by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
  • A Picture Book of Sacagawea by David A. Adler
  • Sacagawea by Liselotte Erdrich
  • A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark by David A. Adler

 

Nonfiction books for Felicity:

  • Welcome to Felicity's World, 1774: Growing Up in Colonial America by Catherine Gourley
  • A Picture Book of George Washington by David A. Adler
  • The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George
  • George Washington's Teeth by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora

 

 

Nonfiction books for Josefina:

  • Welcome to Josefina's World, 1824: Growing Up in America's Southwest Frontier by Yvette La Pierre
  • Susanna of the Alamo by John Jakes

 

 

Nonfiction books for Kirsten:

  • Welcome to Kirsten's World, 1854: Growing Up in Pioneer America by Susan Sinnott
  • Roughing It on the Oregon Trail by Diane Stanley
  • Frontier Home by Raymond Bial
  • Sod Houses on the Great Plains by Glen Rounds

 

Nonfiction books for Addy:

  • Welcome to Addy's World, 1864 by Susan Sinnot
  • Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
  • Stand Tall, Abe Lincoln by Judith St. George
  • Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth
  • Abraham Lincoln by Amy L. Cohn
  • An Apple for Harriet Tubman by Glennette Tilley Turner
  • A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman by David A. Adler
  • A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David A. Adler
  • A Picture Book of Harriet Beecher Stowe by David A. Adler
  • The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil War by Robin Friedman
  • Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

 

 

Nonfiction books for Samantha:

  • Welcome to Samantha's World, 1904 by Catherine Gourley
  • Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Dean Robbins
  • Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt by Don Brown
  • The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock
  • Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel
  • Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis
  • Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives by Gene Barretta
  • A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison by David A Adler
  • Alexander Graham Bell by Victoria Sherrow
  • To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers by Wendie C. Old

 

 

Nonfiction books for Kit:

  • Welcome to Kit's World, 1934 by Harriet Brown
  • Eleanor, Quiet No More by Doreen Rappaport
  • Eleanor by Barbara Cooney
  • Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt by Judith St. George
  • Potato: A Tale From the Great Depression by Kate Lied

 

Nonfiction books for Molly:

  • Welcome to Molly's World, 1944 by Catherine Gourley
  • A Picture Book of Anne Frank by David A. Adler
  • Hiding From the Nazis by David A. Adler
  • Anne Frank by Josephine Poole
  • Anne Frank by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Memories of Survival by Esther Nisenthal Krinitz and Bernice Steinhardt
Edited by EKT
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The books are, IMO, awesome. They're not a commercial at all and can be done without ever owning a doll. They don't dumb down the hard parts of history (Kirsten's best friend dies of Cholera on the boat over). As someone said, they're not high literature, but reading them with my DD, I am struck by how good they are at taking the history and making it interesting and tangible to a young girl. And then at the back (of the old books, don't know about the Beforevers), there is always a section that talks about anything in the story that might not have been 100% accurate or typical, as well as having pictures and descriptions of a many other pertinent things. DD loves them and they spawn so many interesting discussions.

 

We're doing a two year AG history unit, but ours is mostly reading+hands on. Lots of fun crafts and field trips planned!

Thanks for responding & you have inspired me to look into them! Edited by Earthmerlin
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  • 2 years later...
On 8/13/2017 at 9:32 PM, LauraBeth475 said:

A couple of people asked about this in one of the planning threads, so here are the lesson plans I wrote for my girls to do American history with a combination of American Girl and Childhood of Famous Americans books.

 

We do school 4 days a week, so that worked out to 12 lessons for each girl's unit.  I listed the extra AG books and scheduled some history audiobooks we like at the end of each unit; I'm not going to schedule those but just pull from them as we're interested.

Oh man, my girls are 2 and 4, but I can't wait lol.

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