USA -- School-age
I Am An American
That's the way that most of us put it, just matter-of-factly
They are plain words, those four;
you could write them on your thumbnail,
or you could sweep them clear across the bright autumn sky.
But remember, too, that they are more than words.
They are a way of life.
So, whenever you speak them,
speak them proudly, speak them gratefully.
"I am an American!"
Captian John Smith
“He that will not work shall not eat.”
- Captain John Smith
Explorer and leader of Jamestown, the first English colony in America to survive and become permanent. It was settled in 1603.
Sites to See
"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
Benjamin Franklin is one of the Founding fathers of the United States and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was an accomplished inventer, publisher, statesman, and patriot.
He invented a lot of useful things such as bifocal glasses and the lightning rod.
He published Poor Richard's Almanac, one of the most popular publications in colonial America.
He helped keep France on the side of America during the Revolutionary War, and was also minister to France for many years. The French people embraced him and he became a national hero to them
Sites to See
Benjamin Franklin is your guide throughout this site. Learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers. Learn about Benjamin Franklin and how our government works.
According to legend, Betsy Ross made the first American flag.
The USA flag, officially adopted by Congress on June 14, 1777, had thirteen stripes and thirteen stars (five pointed stars)
Visit Besty Ross's Homepage. Learn about the history of our United States Flag at this site! Take a virtual tour of Betsy's House!
A Brief History of the American Flag Video
Lewis and Clark
The Louisiana Purchase
In 1803 the nation of France, under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, sold 828,000 square miles (2,144,510 square km) of land west of the Mississippi River to the United States of America in a treaty known as the Louisiana Purchase. This treaty has been described as the "greatest real estate deal in history." President Thomas Jefferson more than doubled the size of the United States. The treaty was made in order to secure free navigation of the Mississippi River.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were the leaders of the expedition that would explore and chart the vast unknown terriorty west of the Mississippi River. Meriwether Lewis, hired his friend William Clark to help him, and put together the Corps of Discovery. Their job was to learn all they could about the new terriorty. The expedition began in 1804.
Sites to See
Lewis and Clark for Kids
Learn all about the journey, discoveries, people of the expedition, dangers, places, or, access any of my dozens of online or printable activities and games related to Lewis and Clark.
PBS has a section on
Freeware Windows & Mac version
Follow the trail of the Corps of Discovery's epic trip on a U.S. map from St. Louis to the West coast. A series of photo images pops up, of scenery along their route.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition Video
Born Araminta Ross; c. 1820 – March 10, 1913
Harriet Tubman was born a slave in Maryland. She escaped to the North with the help of the Underground Railroad. She would make the treacherous journey back, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Harriet risked her life and was nicknamed "Moses" after the biblical Moses, who led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt.
“I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” Harriet Tubman to Sarah Bradford in Harriet, The Moses of Her People 1886
Follow The Drinking Gourd Video
Follow the Stars
The American folksong "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and an amazing map. The North Star (Polaris) was used to find north.
Explanation of "Follow the Drinking Gourd" - NASA
The "old man" in the story is Peg Leg Joe, who was said to be a conductor on the Underground Railroad. He is credited for authoring the song Follow the Drinkin' Gourd.
Lesson Plan - Follow the Drinking Gourd: Astronomy and the Underground Railroad
Adapted from the Northern Stars Planetarium “Follow the Drinking Gourd” Teacher’s
Northern Stars Planetarium “Follow the Drinking Gourd” Teacher’s Guide
Using the Science of Astronomy in History Video
Follow the Drinking Gourd: Using the Science of Astronomy in History
Easy Reader Biographies: Harriet Tubman
by Violet Findley
Harriet Tubman Follow the North Star - Scholastic Guided Reading Level 1 with reproducible
Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman
by Alan Schroeder
A fictionized version of eight-year-old Harriet Tubman who was nicknamed "Minty". A wonderful book written for children with beautiful pictures that tells Minty's struggles and her dreams of escape. It helps explain why Harriet has such a passion as an adult for helping free other slaves. Appropriate for 3rd to 6th grade.
Sites to See
Harriet Tubman color page with quote(on the page click on the image to print)
Harriet Tubman - National Geographic
Harriet Tubman Triarama Lesson Plan Grade 3+
Harriet Tubman biography at Ducksters.
Harriet Tubman Background Information for Teachers and Parents
Harriet Tubman (K-4)
Lessons accompanied by standards, assessment measures, and extension activities about Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman Web Hunt: Leading the Way to Freedom
Scholastic Harriet Tubman: On the Road to Freedom - An integrated unit honoring the courage of Harriet Tubman Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Mini Unit Famous Person: Harriet Tubman Grade Level: 4th/5th
Laura Ingalls Wilder
February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957
Born in Pepin, Wisconsin 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder was the creator of the much-read and much-loved children's "Little House" book series that tells the story of her pioneer family. The books were the inspiration for the television series "Little House on the Prairie."
Sites to See
One, Two, Threes of Pioneer Life: A Little House Counting Book
An online counting book for children with themes from the Little House books
Laura Ingalls Wilder's Gingerbread
1 cup brown sugar blended with 1/2 cup lard or other shortening
1 cup molasses mixed well with the above mixture.
2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup boiling water
(Be sure cup is full of water after foam is run off into cake mixture.)
Mix all well.
To 3 cups of flour have added one teaspoon each of the following spices: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves; add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sift all into the mixture and mix well.
Add lastly 2 well-beaten eggs. The mixture should be quite thin.
Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) for thirty minutes. Raisins and, or candied fruit may be added, and a chocolate frosting adds to the goodness.
Ingredients: 1 cup of whipping cream, salt(optional), baby food jars(one for each child), crackers.
Pour whipping cream into jars (can add 1 drop of food coloring). Add a pinch of salt. Close tightly and give to the children to shake. Butter will form soon. Pour off extra liquid. Spread on crackers and it's ready to eat.
Make a girl's sun bonnet using tagboard and patterns available at the the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Make a boy's straw hat using brown paper sacks or craft paper. This "straw" hat is made to resemble one that a boy might have worn on the trail west. Instructions and patters available at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Download patterns from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library to build a Pioneer Town.
The Little House books contain several references to wild flowers. This is a fun activity for students to select a prairie flower, briefly research it, and create a colorful seed packet for it.
Like Laura and her sisters, as soon as pioneer children could handle a needle, they were taught to make nine-patch quilt blocks from nine squares of fabric.
To make this classroom nine-patch quilt, you will need magazines for the "fabric" squares, scissors, glue, and a copy of the nine-patch quilt block. Patterns available at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.
Here's a fun way to explore American history by looking at artifacts. See if you can figure out what life was like 200 years ago for Thomas and Elizabeth Springer's family in New Castle, Delaware.
At the same time discover what historians in the next century could learn about you if they found your house exactly the way it is today. Contains a teacher section.