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Core Curriculum - Fifth Grade

Colonial America

Pocahontas
by Laurence Santrey, ISBN: 0816702772 , Troll
This easy to read story tells of Jamestown and the friendship between Pocahontas, the Indian daughter of Powhantan, and John Smith, the military leader of Jamestown. This friendship saved the English settlement and started the colonization of the Americas by the English. Pocahontas and John Smith's friendship went beyond the Indian uprising and stayed strong as Pocahontas marries John Rolf and lives in England and up to her very young death in England as she waits to come home to Virginia.

If You Lived in Colonial Times
by Ann McGovernand, ISBN: 059045160X, Scholastic
Through the use of pictures and questions the details of what it was like if you lived in colonial times during the years 1565 to 1776 is discussed. What kind of clothes would you wear? Would you go to school? What would happen if you did not behave? What food did you eat? Were there special times for fun? What jobs did they have in colonial times? All of these questions and many more will be answered in this easy to understand book.

Textbook Type Book

Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?
by Jean Fritz and illustrated by J.B. Handelsman, ISBN: 0590464728, Scholastic
The true story of the famous Plymouth Rock is told. How many times has the rock been moved? How many times has it been split since colonial times? Why is Plymouth Rock so famous? All of these questions will be answered in this easy to read book.

Margaret Pumphrey's Pilgrim Stories
by Elvajean Hall, ISBN: 0590452029, Scholastic
This story began in 1606, when the people known as the Pilgrims embarked on their dangerous journey to find a place where they could worship as they wished. Over 100 people, including 30 children, were on the Mayflower when it landed in Plymouth, New England, in November of 1620. Here are stories of the ships crossing and of real people who stayed alone in the New World in that first heroic year of starvation, fear, and new friendships.

On the Mayflower (picture book)
by Kate Waters Photographs by Russ Kendall, ISBN: 0590674080, Scholastic
This is the picture story of the voyage of the Mayflower's apprentice and a pilgrim passenger girl as they voyage across the Atlantic ocean to the new world. This is the first hand account what this kind of trip was like and also from what we know about navigating and shipboard life in the 17th century.

Sarah Morton's Day
by Kate Waters, ISBN: 0590474006, Scholastic
A day in the life of a 10 year old girl in Plymouth Plantation is looked at in this book. It is written in the language of the time with beautiful pictures that show you exactly how it was. There is a page of vocabulary in the back of the book. Excellent book to tell about why the pilgrims came to the new world and how life is now that they are here.

Note: Can be combined with Samuel Eaton's Day and Tapenum's Day to give a better picture of life in Plymouth.

Samuel Eaton's Day
by Kate Waters, ISBN: 0590480537, Scholastic
Samuel is finally old enough (7 year's old) to put away his childish ways and do the work of a man in Plymouth Plantation. This story tells one day in his life. The beautiful pictures show how life was in 1627 and how hard every one had to work to make life livable. This is an excellent picture book.

Note: Can be combined with Sarah Morton's Day and Tapenum's Day to give a clear picture about life in Plymouth

Tapenum's Day
by Kate Waters, ISBN: 0590202383, Scholastic
Tapenum is a Wampanoag Indian boy who lives near Plymouth Plantation in 1627. This beautiful picture book tells the story of one day in his life. New ideas about the Indian way of life are discussed and shown as Tapenum goes about his daily life. Life is hard and Tapenum learns much as he goes about the duties and education of his day.

Note: Combined with Sarah Mortons Day and Samuel Eatons Day gives a clear picture of life in and around Plymouth Plantation in Colonial days.

A Journey to the New World/Remember Patience Whipple
by Kathryn Lasky, ISBN: 059050214X, Scholastic
The diary of Remember Patience Whipple leads us through the story of the pilgrims and the settling of New England. She chronicles the Pilgrims troubles in England and Holland as well as the New World. It is a story of brave people who braved hardships to come to the Americas. The true story of the pilgrim Thanksgiving feast is told.

Note: In the back of the book the history of the settling of Plymouth is told in word and picture.

Eating the Plates
by Lucille Recht Penner, ISBN: 0590469754, Scholastic
Food, food, food! It was hard for the first Pilgrim settlers to think of anything else. Why did the Pilgrims prefer to eat in the dark aboard the Mayflower? Why did they plant fish in their cornfields? Did they really eat turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie at the first Thanksgiving? An answering to these and many other questions follow in the book. It reminds us that the Pilgrims were real people. This fascinating account of their eating habits, customs, and manners will bring the Pilgrims to life.

Calico Captive
by Elizabeth George Speare, ISBN: 0440411564, Yearling
The year is 1754, the French and Indian War is upon the colonists. Young Miriam Willard is taken prisoner in a raid on Charlestown, New Hampshire. It is a harrowing march north. Miriam could only force herself to the next stopping place, the next small portion of food as she learns what family really means. She survives the Indian camp and is sold to the French as a servant to a real family in Montreal. She sees the war from the eyes of the French as she fights to keep her family together.

Note: This is probably more of a girl's book than a boys

The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker
by Cynthia DeFelice, ISBN: 0380729202, Avon
It's 1849 and twelve-year old Lucas Whitaker is all alone after his whole family dies of a disease called consumption. Lucas is grief-stricken and filled with guilt. Unable to manage the family farm by himself, Lucas finds work as an apprentice to Doc Beecher who is the town doctor, dentist, barber, and undertaker. Lucas lives with Doc Beecher and learns his trade. Lucas and Doc Beecher make a house call to see Sarah Stukeley who has consumption. Doc Beecher believes there is little he can do to cure her disease. Lucas and the Stukeley family have heard about a cure. It was believed that the first to die in a family from consumption would come back to drain the very life from others in order to live themselves. Doc Beecher doesn't believe in this superstition and tries to convince Lucas that he needs to look at the scientific evidence. The Stukeley's dig up the coffin of Sarah's brother, and cut out his heart. They take the heart back to the house where they place the heart in the flames. Sarah is then made to breathe in the smoke. When the flames die down Sarah is given the ashes mixed with water to drink. Lucas then decides that he would rather have scientific proof, and decides to become a doctor. The story concludes with Doc Beecher and Lucas looking through a new instrument called a microscope at microorganisms. 

Note: This would be a great book for 6th graders to read who would be studying the Middle Ages and microorganisms.

5th grade could read this book to understand what life was like in Colonial America, what superstition they had and problems with hygiene.

Coat of Many Colors
by Dolly Parton, illustrated by Judith Sutton, ISBN: 059089935X, Scholastic Inc.
Dolly Parton tells the story of growing up in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Mama didn't have store-bought books, but she often read stories to us from the Bible and all the stories she told are still a part of Dolly today. Mama tried to make me feel special in my little ragged coat and told me I was poor only if I chose to be.

This Land Is Your Land
by Woody Guthrie, paintings by Kathy Jakobsen, ISBN: 0439188636, Scholastic Inc.
This book is the illustrated story of the song "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie. It shows the beauty of America and the diversity within its borders. A tribute to Woody Guthrie is given at the end of the picture book.