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Elementry: Colonial to American Revolution



This guide features teacher and classroom resources for instruction on United States history from the colonial time through the American Revolution appropriate for grades 4-5.

Catalog Search Strategies

for Native Americans:
Indians of North America Juvenile literature

for individual tribes:
Wampanoag Indians Juvenile literature

for exploration and discovery of America:
America Discovery and Exploration Juvenile literature
Explorers America biography Juvenile literature

for Pilgrims and the American Colonies:
Pilgrims (New Plymouth Colony) Juvenile Literature
United States History Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 Juvenile literature.

for American Revolution and new government:
United States History Revolution 1775-1783 Juvenile Literature
United States Politics and government 1775-1783 juvenile literature

Library Catalog materials

Colonial Cooking. (BOOK)
by Susan Dosier.
Mankato, Minn. : Blue Earth Books, c2000, 32p.  
Call # x641 D723-1, 15 copies.
This classroom supplemental resource approaches history through food.  Simple recipes are interspersed with the information about Thanksgiving, the introduction of corn, children’s work, the Revolutionary War and more.  

The Adventurous Life of Myles Standish and the amazing-but-true survival story of Plymouth Colony.  (BOOK)
by Cheryl Harness.
Washington, DC: National Geographic, c2006, 144p.  
Call # x973.2 H289-1, 12 copies.
Student friendly history of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower voyage, starting with events in England through their first years in New England.  It contains a timeline of world events that runs through the bottom of the pages, Mayflower passenger list, further resources and index .

The Thirteen Colonies: Primary resources. (BOOK)
Ed. Allman, Melinda. 2002, 112 p.
Call # X973.2 P9525,  57 copies.
This book tells the story of the American colonies from origins through the writing of the Constitution with a focus on student-friendly primary sources.   It  includes full-text or excerpts from letters, court cases and more.  A great resource to introduce primary sources to students.

The Signers; the 56 stories behind the Declaration of Independence.  (BOOK)
by Dennis Fradin.
New York: Walker & Company, 2002, 164p.  
Call # x973.3 F799-1, 35 copies.
Background information of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence,  from historical events in their home colonies to what became of them afterwards.

Library Databases

Kids’ Infobits
LAPL Description: Periodical database designed for the research needs of students, Kindergarten through Grade 5. Provides a subject based search with full-text, age-appropriate magazine, newspaper and reference content for information on current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, sports and more.
This student-friendly resource provides access to full-text magazine and newspaper articles, encyclopedia entries, images, graphs and more.  This database can be searched by typing the research topic into the search bar located at the top of the screen, or through the subject icons on the main page.

U.S History in Context
LAPL Description:Covers all areas of U.S. history focusing on the most significant people, events and topics from pre-colonial times to the present day seen through primary documents, original reference sources, newspaper/journal articles, images, videos, audio files, and links to vetted websites.
It is a thorough teacher resource, or for supplemental use in the classroom with assistance.  This database includes primary resources, the full texts for government documents, pictures, reference resources and more.  


Black Founders: America's Black Founders: Revolutionary Heroes & Early Leaders with 21 Activities (OverDrive e-book)
This book looks at famous Africans Americans and the their contributions to the founding of America.  The included activities make this a great supplemental classroom resource.

Liberty American Revolution-- E-Video & teacher guide

The new American Revolution handbook [electronic resource]: facts and artwork for readers of all ages.  Theodore P. Savas and J. David Dameron.  OverDrive e-book, March 07, 2011.
Six-part series, from events that lead to the revolution to  establishing  a new nation. 

Internet Resources

The American Revolution:
An extensive timeline of the The American Revolution.  It is divided into six sections, and includes a page dedicated to the Declaration of Independence.

Primary Documents in American History -- Library of Congress:
This site contains web guides for the Declaration of Independence; US Constitution; the Bill of Rights; the Federalist Papers; Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789;.  Also includes a guide to American historical documents online.

Plimoth Plantation Museum: Multimedia Reference Library
Youtube channel:
Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum in Massachusetts.  The Multimedia Reference Library contains materials such as a reading of the Mayflower Compact (Listen-Podcast & Music), Thanksgiving History (Read-Articles & Writings), and virtual field trip of 1627 English village  and  Wampanoag Wetu (Watch-Videos & Tours).


Elementary-History: California-Native Americans

Brooke Sheets, Children’s Librarian,  Arroyo Seco Regional Branch (
Karla Gonzalez, Children’s Librarian III, Benjamin Franklin Branch (
Revised 05/03/2012.