If you’re looking for a history curriculum for your elementary student, The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer might be just what you need. Written as a narrative, this series covers the history of the world from ancient times to present day in four books. Each book is crafted to be used for an entire year. The four books, then, can each be used twice as part of a four-year cycle, first in grades 1 – 4 and then again in grades 5 – 8 if desired.
The Story of the World Books
The author works hard to present history objectively; you’ll find a variety of cultures, races, and religions represented. Overall, here’s what the books cover:
Volume 1– Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor
Volume 2 – The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance
Volume 3 – Early Modern Times (1600 to 1850)
Volume 4 – From Victoria’s Empire to the End of the USSR
Each book also has an accompanying activity book with reproducible pages, and you can purchase tests and answer keys for each volume too. And, if you’re like me and spend a lot of time in the car, you can also get the series on audio CDs.
I’m currently using the Story of the World books with my 3rd and 6th graders, and my 8th grader is using one of the books as a review this year. You can supplement them with other books, such as historical picture books or biographies, or use them by themselves. Either way, this series presents history just as it is – a story – our story.
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