Monday, August 16, 2010

A Few History Books

From time to time I'll post about books I'm finding useful in teaching. This week, I have three to offer some words about.

A few years back, before I imagined I'd be teaching early American history, I picked up a lovely old copy of, The New Land by, Phillip Viereck.

Honestly, I don't know why the book sells so cheaply, as it is a lovely, illustrated, oversized book that is packed with copies of maps, and other original documents. A Spanish map of North America from the 16th century notes that what is now Nova Scotia and Labrador have "nothing of value "as they are filled with cod and pine trees. I guess if you're looking for gold, it would have been slightly disappointing.

Did you know that the Pilgrims had a bad case of cast and scour, from eating diseased mussels? I sure didn't! Mr. ETB had a bad case of that a couple weeks ago, but his was from a breakfast burrito from some take-away in Lincoln.

I can't say enough wonderful things about this book.

For the period from 1783-1830, I'm making use of The Young United States by, Edwin Tunis.

Also an over-sized, beautifully illustrated book that will hold a teacher's attention as well as a child's.

For teaching the Constitution, Are We To Be A Nation? by, Richard B. Bernstein and Kym S. Rice is helpful. Photos of early handbills, documents and the like make it as interesting for browsing as for study. I can't think of a better text for teaching the writing of the Constitution, though there are certainly better texts devoted to the content of the document.

The fact that these excellent books can be purchased for very little money makes them all the more attractive to homeschoolers on a budget (well, this homeschooler anyway).

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