Level 9

( Grade 9 – Age 14-16 )

Build Your Library: Level 9 - Prehistoric WorldSo often, history textbooks begin with Mesopotamia and the farmers of the Fertile Crescent as the beginning of history. It may be true that the beginning of recorded history starts with them, but those early civilizations were hardly the beginning of history. This year we seek to go back…WAY back. To the beginning of everything.

This year’s focus is on Prehistory, Geology, and Evolution. We are going back in time to learn about the origins of the Earth and all the wondrous life that has called it home. We’ll start at the very beginning and work our way up to the dawn of man. We’ll be using the gorgeous full-color DK books, Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth and Evolution: The Human Story as our main spines, as well as several well-written books to help us dig deeper into the material.

Once we get to the dawn of humanity, we’ll take an anthropological approach with two amazing graphic novels – Sapiens: A Graphic History Volumes 1 and 2. These books look at what makes us human, and how we have shaped the world in which we live, giving us a big picture of the prehistoric lives of humans.

Our science focus this year will be the book A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. This delightful and fascinating book covers a wide array of scientific topics, from biology to geology to astronomy and more; but the heavy focus is on how science works, and how scientists know what they know (and what they don’t know). We’ll round out our studies with a few well-chosen additions, like The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales and How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other by Naomi Klein.

We’ll also be delving into the world of literary analysis using the book How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. I created a study guide for your student to use as they read through this book. In addition to this delightful and entertaining text, they’ll also be using the consumable workbook Figuratively Speaking, which covers 40 literary terms, from Alliteration to Irony to Foreshadowing. By the end of this course, your student will be ready to tackle the classics and think analytically about any book they read.

We’ll also be studying poetry – learning to appreciate poems with Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry by Billy Collins and understanding how poetry works (and learning to write our own) using A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver.

There is also an included art study. We’ll begin the year with a fun drawing course to help your student hone their drawing skills. The second half of the year will focus on a study of prehistoric art using the fascinating book The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols by Genevieve von Petzinger.

And of course, your child will enjoy some well-chosen novels, from classics like Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew to epic fantasy like Lord of the Rings, to newer releases like Legendborn. Living literature is always the heart of this curriculum.

My lesson plans guide you through the Level 9 school year effortlessly. Your planning is done for you so that you can spend your time on important things, like teaching your children.

The 427 page PDF lesson plans include:

  • a daily and weekly schedule for 36 weeks of study
  • reading list
  • a set of high school-level Composition Cards (Narration for high schoolers)
  • vocabulary words, discussion questions, and dictation passages tied to the literature readings
  • Weekly writing assignments
  • memory work projects
  • A 22-page Study Guide for How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • 13 Activity Pages
  • research projects
  • 30 science quizzes to go with A Short History of Nearly Everything

You Can Download a Sample Week Here: 


Purchase Level 9 – Prehistoric World – $59.95

Add to CartView Cart

** 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.

You can see the entire booklist below:

(now powered by Amazon and Bookshop.org):


Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth (Spine)
Evolution: The Human Story (Spine) – Bookshop.org
A Brief History of Earth: Four Billion Years in Eight Chapters  – Bookshop.org
Sapiens: A Graphic History Volume 1: The Birth of HumankindBookshop.org
Sapiens: A Graphic History Volume 2: The Pillars of CivilizationBookshop.org
The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution (Spine) – Bookshop.org


A Short History of Nearly Everything (Spine) – Bookshop.org
Janice VanCleave’s A+ Projects in Earth Science (Spine) – Bookshop.org
The Practical GeologistBookshop.org
The Brilliant Abyss  – Bookshop.org
The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNABookshop.org
How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to  Protecting the Planet and Each OtherBookshop.org


Poetry 180: A Turning Back to PoetryBookshop.org
A Poetry HandbookBookshop.org

Introduction to Literary Analysis:

How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines, Revised Edition (Spine) – Bookshop.org
Figuratively Speaking (Spine)


Binti: The Complete TrilogyBookshop.org
Life as We Knew ItBookshop.org
The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary, One Vol. EditionBookshop.org
Memory of Water: A NovelBookshop.org
The Taming of the ShrewBookshop.org
Raptor RedBookshop.org
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of NatureBookshop.org
A Bone from a Dry SeaBookshop.org
The Last CuentistaBookshop.org
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young AdultsBookshop.org
The KinBookshop.org

Survival Skills Elective:

Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival
Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural FoodsBookshop.org


You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or LessBookshop.org
The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest SymbolsBookshop.org

As a reminder, if you are going to purchase books we would greatly appreciate the use of our provided Amazon 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.

Have you already purchased Level 9 – Prehistoric World? 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:
Level 0 – Level 1 – Level 2Level 3Level 4 – Level 5 – Level 6Level 7Level 8Level 9Level 10 – Level 11 – Level 12

Browse the course work
people are raving about


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?

Read more