If you would’ve told me in my first year teaching that a unit on the American Revolution would be one of my favorites all year I would not have believed you! But, then beautifully written authentic literature, hands-on lessons, and engaging nonfiction that created student empowerment became this unit… and here we are! Even one of my co-teachers told me a few years ago it was her favorite unit to support me teaching because SHE learned so much! 🙂 So I wanted to share those amazing books that brought this unit to life, in hopes that you can choose a few to enrich your own American Revolution unit! I included affiliate links to each book if you click on the title, and of course, there’s a freebie for you at the end of this post! <3
Novels for Whole or Small Group Novel Studies
If you are looking for a whole group novel study for the American Revolution, grab this one! It is hilarious, has a ton of historical factual information, and your students will love it! The humor is spot on for grades 4-6. I used it in small groups as a book club for one of my higher groups, and they loved it and learned so much!
Picture Books for Small Groups
Two covers, two indexes, two points of view! This book shows history from the side of colonists in America, and British government and loyalists. The PERFECT book for teaching perspective + point of view.
If you’ve never grabbed one of the books from this series, grab this one! I love using this in small groups once we’ve learned about the Boston Tea Party. I use it with a group as we work on nonfiction reading strategies, to improve comprehension.
This book shows the transformation of George Washington, a farmer, to a pivotal man in the forming of America. I choose a few pages out of this each year for small groups, to work on our Close reading skills.
Primary and secondary sources are part of our standards in our social studies curriculum. I love using books like this one to show students historical documents from America. Excerpts from this book gives some of my striving readers a better understanding of why the war was fought, and a good visual of the laws being made.
I love how this book shows what inspires people from all over the world to start life anew in America, endure the economic and social upheavals, and defend the land and rights that are unique to the United States of America. All of it is related back to the American Revolution!
I love using this book to teach timeline of events in small groups! The way the author encourages the reader to immerse themselves in the time period; truly feel that they are there in the thick of some of the not-so-good, pulls my readers in every time!
I actually have 6 copies of this book in my classroom, and if you teach about the American Revolution, grab a few. I use this book to really hammer home nonfiction text features and structure, and how the understand of these leads to better comprehension. We focus on certain page spreads during each small group time!
This is a suspenseful tale of patriotism, that will draw your students in as they can relate to the young spy, close to their age. It shows a different side of the war, not soldiers, but the silent few who helped so much. I use this book as a mentor text for vivid verbs, and pulling important events and putting them in sequential order.
This classic poem has so much power in the words. Use it to teach order of importance, and recalling important information in nonfiction texts.
Two Founding Fathers team up for their own miniature revolution—to simplify and standardize American English. Your students will love learning about history while doing exactly what those two men wanted, sounding out words!
Told in a step-by-step account of the 24 hours leading up to the battles that sparked the American revolution, this book supports our understanding of the pivotal moment that started the war.
This book is perfect for students to flex their comprehension skills and write about how each of these men helped build America. Another great book for identifying nonfiction text structure.
The terms used throughout the American Revolution were hard to keep straight: tory, rebel, loyalist, patriot, redcoat, petticoats.. just to name a few. I use this book to help them understand there were more than just two sides, and to identify theme!
Comparing points of view is a crucial reading skill that can improve comprehension.. this book helps us practice that! By comparing George vs. George, students are enhancing their comprehension, and building their responding to reading skills.
An important time in history, this book beautifully shows and describes it! As we learn about the crossing in social studies, this book accompanies that lesson, allowing students to add more schema to their knowledge on the topic.
I hope you were able to grab a few, (or a lot) of mentor texts to add to your unit! If you want to know more about the student created history book I use to teach this, check it out below!