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An Ancient History book list for the elementary grades. Perfect for making history come alive.
BOOKS,  HOMESCHOOL

Elementary Ancient History Books

This year we will be taking some time to study the history of the world. It’s first grade so obviously we aren’t going to study the entire history of the world in one year but we are going to take some time each quarter to learn a little about one time period and I’m hoping we will build on this by going deeper throughout the years.

I’ll explain our history plan a little more in-depth in a week or two, for today I wanted to share some of the books that we will be using as we study ancient times throughout elementary school. It can be hard to find books that are interesting to kids and yet still educational when it comes to history, I’ve been doing my best to gather this books for this list but I’d always love to hear your input if you have more suggestions!

I’ve done my best to give a general grade guideline for when I think we’ll be using these books but nothing is set in stone yet.

My upper elementary books are definitely lacking, I’d love some suggestions in this area, when it comes to the modern time period I found it easy to find books for this age range but am definitely struggling to find it for ancient times. I think all the books mentioned in this post can be used for grades 4-6 if they haven’t already read them but since we plan on doing them in grades 1-4 I’d like to find something different for grades 4-6.

Ancient History Books for Elementary

ANCIENT HISTORY BOOKS
FOR ELEMENTARY

GRADES 1-2

The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War

An ancient history lesson emerges from this account of the way the Greeks tricked the Trojans and rescued Helen of Troy. The book is well tailored to younger readers with careful explanations and short sentences; a pronunciation guide is appended. Drawings portray the story’s main events. A nice supplement to units on ancient Greece or mythology.

Tut’s Mummy: Lost…and Found

Beginning with the death of Tutankhamen, the book moves forward to archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb. Information about ancient Egyptian life is interspersed in a clear, smooth fashion throughout. A good way to get readers into non-fiction.

 

Pompeii…Buried Alive!

The drama of natural disasters provides prime material to entice young independent readers. In this volume, the account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius describes village life 2,000 years ago, the eruption itself and its aftermath, and the excitement when the buried town is rediscovered centuries later. A lively and factual glimpse of a devastating moment in history, in an accessible, attractive package.

GRADES 1-4

What Was Pompeii?

The morning of August 24, AD 79, seemed like any other in the Roman city of Pompeii. So no one was prepared when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, spouting ash that buried the city and its inhabitants. The disaster left thousands dead, and Pompeii was no more than a memory for almost 1,700 years. In 1748, explorers rediscovered the port city with intact buildings and beautiful mosaics. This easy-to-read account is gripping and includes photos of the ruins.

Dinosaurs Before Dark

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

Sunset of the Sabertooth

The Ice Age is very cool . . . for two kids in bathing suits! Jack and Annie nearly freeze when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the time of cave people and woolly mammoths. But nothing can stop them from having another wild adventure—not even a saber-toothed tiger!

Afternoon on the Amazon

Vampire bats and killer ants? That’s what Jack and Annie are about to run into when the Magic Tree House whisks them away to the Amazon River. It’s not long before they get hopelessly lost. Will they be able to find their way back to the tree house? Or are Jack and Annie stuck forever in the rain forest?

Day of the Dragon King

Who would burn books? Jack and Annie find out when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient China. There, a powerful emperor called the Dragon King has ordered that all books be burned. Will Jack and Annie be able to save at least one book? Or will they be captured by the emperor’s soldiers?

China: Land of the Emperors Great Wall: A Nonfiction Companion

When Jack and Annie came back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #14: Day of the Dragon King, they had lots of questions. Who was the Dragon King? How did he build the Great Wall? What is Chinese New Year? What are some other Chinese traditions? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts about Chinese history and culture.

Vacation Under the Volcano

Who wants to vacation next to a volcano? Jack and Annie are about to find out when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the days of the Roman Empire. They arrive in Pompeii and soon discover that it is the very day the city will be destroyed. Now Jack and Annie must race against time to find an ancient library before it is buried in ash!

Ancient Rome and Pompeii: A Nonfiction Companion

When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #13: Vacation Under the Volcano, they had lots of questions. How did ancient Rome become an emipre? Where did ancient Romans go for fun? What happened to the Roman town of Pompeii? What have we learned from it? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts. Filled with up-to-date information, photos, illustrations, and fun tidbits from Jack and Annie, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers are the perfect way for kids to find out more about the topics they discovered in their favorite Magic Tree House adventures. And teachers can use Fact Trackers alongside their Magic Tree House fiction companions to meet common core text pairing needs.

 

Mummies in the Morning

Jack and Annie don’t need another mummy. But that’s what they get when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient Egypt. There they meet a long-dead queen who needs their help. Will Jack and Annie be able to solve the puzzle, or will they end up as mummies themselves?

Mummies and Pyramids

When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #3: Mummies in the Morning, they had lots of questions. Why did people make mummies? What was the mysterious writing on mummy cases? How did most ancient Egyptians spend their days? How were the pyramids built? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts.

Filled with up-to-date information, photos, illustrations, and fun tidbits from Jack and Annie, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers are the perfect way for kids to find out more about the topics they discovered in their favorite Magic Tree House adventures. And teachers can use Fact Trackers alongside their Magic Tree House fiction companions to meet common core text pairing needs.

GRADES 2-4

You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy!: Disgusting Things You’d Rather Not Know

For a wealthy ancient Egyptian, death is not the end: your body must be prepared for the afterlife. But it’s a fairly disgusting business, and you can’t be sure that you will always be treated with respect.

You Wouldn’t Want to Be Cleopatra!: An Egyptian Ruler You’d Rather Not Be

Get ready . . . you’re a princess born into the Egyptian royal family. But its not easy living in the palace. From family betrayals to Roman generals, you will discover its not easy being Cleopatra! Find out all about the eventful life, great loves, and tragic fate of the most famous of all Egyptian queens.

 

GRADES 3-5

Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave

Iliona never imagined that her sea voyage from Greece to Egypt would lead her to Rome. But when her ship is boarded by pirates, that’s where she ends up — as a slave. Separated from her brother, Apollo, Iliona is soon at the whim of her owners, and the chance of regaining freedom seems like a distant dream. But unlike her brother’s plight, Iliona’s life as a slave isn’t as bad as she feared: her new family provides clothing, food, and even schooling, and best of all, she is free to explore the wonders of Rome. Step back to AD 107 and take in the luxury of the baths, the splendor of the Senate, the thrill of gladiatorial combat, and the excesses of Roman feasts in a fictional diary full of excitement, humor, and accurate historical detail.

Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht, Young Slave

Who is plundering the tombs of ancient Memphis? A brother and sister solve the mystery in this diary full of intriguing details about daily life in Egypt 3,500 years ago.

GRADES 4-6

Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C.

Established Dear America author Kristiana Gregory kicks off the Royal Diaries with the captivating story of young Cleopatra’s tumultuous life. Daughter of King Ptolemy Autletes, Pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra lives a life filled with opulence and mystery.

Check out the rest of our book lists!

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