Level 5

( Grade 5 – Age 10-12 )

Build Your Library: Level 5 - American History, Part 1You and your child are about to embark on the first half of our American History study, using a variety of diverse non-fiction, like An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, and A Different Mirror For Young People: A History of Multicultural America.  You will learn about the many diverse Native American Nations already living on the North American continent before the Europeans arrived, discover why the first European colonists came to America, and watch those early colonies change and grow into the United States.

You will enjoy an array of captivating literature selections together. One of my goals in choosing the literature and readers for Level 5 was to tell the story of America through the eyes and voices of children of diverse backgrounds.  Follow Tristan on a wild adventure into a world of African American folklore in Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia.  You will meet the Tuck family, who accidentally became immortal in Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, and the enslaved children of Thomas Jefferson, in Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

You will study American artists and complete a variety of art projects, memorize poetry written by great American poets such as Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, along with the Preamble to the Constitution, and other historical works.

Over the course of both Levels 5 and 6, your child will be studying the US Presidents, as well as completing a State Study, learning the geography of the United States of America.

Your science focus this year will be biology, using Real Science Odyssey Biology 2 along with a selection of well-chosen living books

My lesson plans guide you through the school year effortlessly. Your planning is done for you so that you can spend your time on important things, like teaching your children.

The 286 page PDF lesson plans include:

  • a daily and weekly schedule for 36 weeks of study
  • reading list
  • a set of 8 – 10 narration cards
  • vocabulary words, discussion questions, and dictation passages tied to the literature readings
  • Weekly writing assignments
  • memory work projects
  • 19 activity pages (including map work)
  • research projects
  • art projects
  • 3 day per week schedule for Real Science Odyssey Biology 2


You can purchase the required books through our Build Your Library Bookshop.org  Bookstore.

You can see a sample week here:

Download the Level 5 Sample Week


Purchase Level 5 – American History, Part 1 – $49.95

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** Our PayPal e-Junkie powered shopping cart will process your order. All our digital programs are in PDF form. They cannot be returned or refunded. Once you place your order, you will receive a download link to your items.

See the full booklist here (now powered by Bookshop.org):


DK American History: A Visual Encyclopedia – Spine 5/6
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the US For Young People – Spine 5/6 (Barnes and Noble link – not currently available from Bookshop)
A Different Mirror For Young People: A History of Multicultural America – Spine 5/6
Words that Built a Nation: Voices of Democracy That Have Shaped America’s History– Spine 5/6
We Were There Too! Young People in US History – Spine 5/6
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans – Spine 5/6
NatGeo Our Country’s Presidents: A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency – Spine 5/6
Turtle Island: The Story of North America’s First People – Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger
What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal – Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger – Spine 5/6
A Kid’s Guide to Native American History – Yvonne Wakim Dennis
1607: A New Look at Jamestown – Karen E. Lange
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving – Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents and Five Black Lives – Kenneth C. Davis – Spine
King George: What Was His Problem? – Steve Sheinkin
Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution – Jean Fritz
The White House is Burning – Jane Sutcliffe
Which Way to the Wild West? – Steve Sheinkin – Spine 5/6


Children of the Longhouse – Joseph Bruchac
Trickster: Native American Tales A Graphic Collection – various authors
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus – Dusti Bowling
Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607 – Elisa Carbone
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky – Kwame Mbalia
Chains – Laurie Halse Anderson
Birchbark House – Louise Erdrich
Jefferson’s Sons – Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt
How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story– Tim Tingle
Tortilla Sun – Jennifer Cervantes
Elijah of Buxton – Christopher Paul Curtis
Midsummer’s Mayhem – Rajani LaRocca


The Earth Under Sky Bear’s Feet: Native American Poems of the Land– Joseph Bruchac
Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost
Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson
Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry (Barnes and Noble link – not currently available from Bookshop)



The Wild Robot – Peter Brown
Sees Behind Trees – Michael Dorris
A Wolf Called Wander – Rosanne Parry
Morning Girl – Michael Dorris
Krista Kim-Bap – Angela Ahn
El Deafo – Cece Bell
A Voice of Her Own: The Story of Phillis Wheatley – Kathryn Lasky
The Winter People – Joseph Bruchac
Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin By His Good Mouse Amos – Robert Lawson
Black Heroes of the American Revolution – Burke Davis
Toliver’s Secret – Esther Wood Brady
American Tall Tales – Adrien Soutenburg
Stone River Crossing – Tim Tingle
Riding Freedom – Pam Munoz Ryan
My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George
Day of Tears – Julius Lester
Lyddie – Katherine Paterson
Oregon Trail: Race to Chimney Rock – Jesse Wiley
As Long as the Rivers Flow – Larry Loyie
Eliza’s Freedom Road – Jerdine Nolen


Real Science Odyssey: Biology 2: http://www.pandiapress.com/publications/real-science-odyssey/life-level-one/#level2 (Spine – you will need to purchase the student book, workbook, and teacher guide to complete the course)
Invincible Microbe
Genetics: From DNA to Designer Dogs
Blood and Guts
Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth
Aliens From Earth: When Animals and Plants Invade Other Ecosystems
Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth

Literary Biology Project: (Weeks 33 – 36: Your student will choose ONE of these to read)

Under the Weather: Stories About Climate Change
The Last Wild
The Tarantula in my Purse
A Girl of the Limberlost


Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning)

Geography State Study:

NatGeo Kids United States Atlas or 50 States Fandex

As a reminder, if you are going to purchase books we would greatly appreciate the use of our provided Bookshop links! Thanks!

Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

New to Build Your Library or looking for some more information about our curriculum and lesson plans? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Have you already purchased Level 5 – American History, Part 1? We would love to hear what you think and share your experience with others – Please feel free to leave a product review on the Contact Us page! Thanks for your support!

Current Full Grade Level Products Available for Purchase:
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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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