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America: The Story of Us ~ Episode 1: "Rebels" Lesson Plans

Here it is ... the first installment of our American History lesson plans using "America: The Story of Us" as our spine. We are currently on Episode 6 and I anticipate us at least getting through Episode 10 by the end of the school year. I hope that you find these posts helpful as you plan your lessons.

The first episode of America: The Story of Us is "Rebels". We spent three weeks on this unit.

We started reading Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone. We read an equal number of pages each day to cover the three-week unit (** highly recommend).

We watched Episode 1, did the discussion questions/video quiz for the episode and the vocabulary words. These can be printed by going here. The Episode Guides are down the left hand column on the site.

All "notebooking pages" are printed from Advanced World History Vol. 2 from Hold that Thought!

All "America's Heritage" references are materials printed from America's Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty by The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc.

We did the following activities:

* Powhatan letter to John Smith (from Episode 1 Guide)
* On the Trail with Captain Smith Interactive Activity (from National Geographic Kids)
* Photo analysis of Revere's Bloody Massacre Engraving
* 13 Colonies notebooking page
* "The History of Thanksgiving" activities from America's Heritage
* Research The Mayflower Compact online and do notebooking page of The Mayflower Compact noting significance, reason, number of signers and more
* Virtual Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
* Read "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and do Venn Diagram with the real history story of Paul Revere's Ride, to see facts of the two to see likes and differences
* Boston Tea Party and Boston Massacre notebooking pages

Books Read (maybe not the whole book, but reading through it for notebooking pages and general information):

The Thirteen Colonies by Marc Tyler Nobleman
Squanto and the First Thanksgiving by Joyce K. Kessel
John Smith Escapes Again! by Rosalyn Schanzer
Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness
The Story of Pocahontas by Caryn Jenner
Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley
Joining the Boston Tea Party by Diane Stanley
And Then What Happened, Paul Revere by Jean Fritz
A Picture Book of Paul Revere by David A. Adler

Videos Watched:

"Early Settlers" by Rhonda Fabian and Jerry Baber
"Squanto and the First Thanksgiving"
"Jamestown" by Schlessinger Media

** These lesson plans were based on planning for an American History course for a 9th grade boy. I allow some activities to be under his grade level and some to be above in order to give him a fun, exciting, and well-rounded understanding of the materials.


  1. Ok I am so bookmarking these. I have these DVDs but we haven't watched them since we are smack dab in the Middle Ages. Can't wait to see all your resources!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing how you are doing this. We have the DVDs ready for next year, and your lesson plans really help. I'm bookmarking them!

  3. Sitting down to plan next year- so thankful to you for putting these lessons in writing!

  4. We finally started today!! In trying to get the boys to tell grandma "all about it" at the dinner table tonight they insisted that it wasn't really school because it was fun.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing these plans!!! We started 8th grade yesterday and history was just TOUGH! I'd looked at your plans off & on all summer & thought it looked fun. But, I thought a planned curriculum would be easier. I've now totally changed my mind!!! The curriculum was exhausting! So, I'm switching & going to try out your ideas along with some of my own. We'll start with your "Blood on the River" book, though. It sounds great!

    Thanks again!!! This is so helpful!!!

  6. I am so grateful to have found your blog and you are such a blessing for having put this together and having shared it! THANK YOU!!

    The only issue I am having is that Hold That Thought's webpage is no longer up. :o( I will have to supplement with something else for those activities.

    Again thank you!!

    1. Bummer about Hold that Thought! But, you can just have your student start their own notebook and write about those topics. I had Dawson write 9-10 sentences on each since he was in the 9th grade. Have fun with this unit! I plan to do it again with my younger two in a few years.


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