Looking back, I am not saying I love history. But, there seems something about the subject that is full of mystique. Have you had the same feeling?
So I challenge myself. Will I ever find a history book that would interest me or at least I could recommend to teachers? You will not believe what I discovered. My top picks stretch across Western civilization, fearless women, recent history, inventions, and the United States.
It would be interesting if you stay with me and together let us review these best books about history for teachers who don’t want to miss out on both the unbelievable facts of the past and the opinions of today. These books, I tell you, provide a goldmine of narratives and reminiscences. You may be surprised by the collective knowledge from more than one perspective.
It is really amazing that after searching online for the best history books, I could not imagine the many things I missed. I was never interested in history. I found the subject dry, mind-numbing, and uninteresting. All I thought was everything about it is plain “events of the past.”
Thanks to research, I just realized how interesting history is! Now I know that black women were among the stars of history. Yes. They even helped NASA launch men to space. Are you aware that many of the great inventions were created by mistake?
Experts call them accidents. Some consider them coincidences, while others believe they are destiny. But if the truth were known we might be surprised that a number of great discoveries were unplanned and even unintentional. Now I am talking about history!
Even though many students find history boring, you can change that. You can tell stories. By simply narrating, you will be able to get everybody’s attention on why Titanic sank, or how 100 men shaped America. Did you see the point?
So let us start our review journey and see which of the books I got suits you and your class. It would be great if we begin with what you need to consider when buying a history book.
Are you in a hurry? Take a peek at the top 3 editor’s choice.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
- This book celebrates the achievements of 50 women who paved the way for female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more
- Illustrates the important role of women in shaping humankind’s scientific journey through real stories of perseverance and passion
- A fascinating collection of infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary
Tips to Buying a History Book
5 Things to Remember
So why is it really important to be meticulous and selective in choosing history books? The answer is because this will help you clear the view of what really happened in the past, and how is the past relevant to the world you are living in today.
To make history a fun and interesting subject, it is obvious that you need a book that holds great value, standard, and accuracy. It should also be put together by zealous writers and most of all should be friendly to the pocket. The perfect history book is always a great investment.
What is the subject of the book? Is it properly emphasized? Does the author cover the matter adequately without any bias? Does the book provide the essential information that you have been looking for? What approach does the author adopt – narrative, chronological, descriptive?
Use keywords in your search. Think of words or specific topics that best describe the content you like. For example: Are you strictly looking for medieval Europe, plague, centuries of conflict, famine, the rise and fall of civilizations, or great leaders?
History has a very broad subject matter. The secret to finding the perfect history books is to stick to a topic. The more you know about it, the more chances that you will run into possible “related” topics, as well. Regardless of if you find the exact book or not – you are still getting a book with the same historical and modern context.
Editor’s choice # 2
The Founding Fathers!: Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America
- Read this book and discover how the surprising facts and entertaining artwork made this part of the United States history so intriguing
- Chock-full of men and their distinctive statuses, who never seemed to get along well, yet built the United States and its constitution
- This book is for a wide range of readers so everyone can absolutely enjoy learning about something as deep and complex as its story goes
Great history books can present valuable facts. Since these things happened in the past, good research makes a great back up of verified contents that are associated with them. This is where a great history book comes in.
Books come in variations. I am referring to content and accuracy. Have you seen a book that looked so enticing yet there seemed something in it that feels of less significance? They are even expensive!
Check how the content is presented. What pieces of information does the author use to prove the authenticity of its text? Is the evidence based on facts? Are they convincing? Do you get answers to your questions? What do you think of the conclusions?
Books of value are noted for their importance, age, condition, and aesthetic assets. They are even more noteworthy for their memory, scarcity, and subject matter. Typically, these are history books that mostly exceed the supply. Although, demand for these books increases as interests arise.
A good history book is based on customary historical criteria. This includes knowledge about what counts as quality information and tasks to help expound the subject matter.
How is the book’s approach or genre? Is it focused on race? Culture? Life of people? War? A combination? If you can identify the approach used in a book, it will be easier for you to determine the historical thought of the book.
History books that encourage collaboration in class help instructors provide a better approach in their teaching. These books generally include extra resources and engaging tasks. Remember that you want the best history information for your students. So make sure you get a book that is not only interesting to read but a compelling journey in class.
Another thing to consider is the presentation of the book. Is it presented in a clear and organized manner? The book should be clear and comprehensible. It should not be puzzling but rather rational and logical. It should give you a wider understanding of the things that you want to convey.
Most of all, a history book should narratively discuss what transpired in the past including moral judgments in history. In short, the book must be your key tool in the field of historiography.
4) ACCURACY OF INFORMATION
Teachers know that history books always contain first-hand information. They are not mere books about fallacies, make-believes, and fictional accounts. They are a record of what intensively happened in those times gone by. The past founded everything that we are right now. Our knowledge of today is basically because of the study and researches, and events from the past.
What do you think will happen if a book narrates the wrong information? How can it continue the beautiful legacy of yesterday if even in evidence it cannot be reliable? With that, your history book should offer importance and legitimacy.
It is important to understand that history is based on actual happenings and is carefully written after they took place. There may be flaws, or different writers may present the events differently, but the roots are coming from one reality.
Accuracy of information means strictly staying away from lies or false information. Your books should possess a pattern within that data and authentic information can be the framework of that data.
There are books in the past that are revised because information and content barely hold the truth. So, verify everything. Determine the credibility and trustworthiness of the information by identifying the source. You can even compare figures and facts to determine if the information is presented in a realistic and unbiased manner.
Editor’s choice # 3
Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be
- When we think of how things that are commonly used in the world today came to be – most inventions were even invented by mistake
- The unusual tales along with hilarious cartoons and weird, amazing facts enlist haphazard beginnings that recollect the origin of food, clothing, toys, and devices
- A history book published for 3rd to 7th graders, this does not exempt the equally curious minds above this age bracket
Beyond the content of the book is the question “What can this history book give me and my class as a whole?” Will this book help make the subject interesting? Are there chapters in the book that will work best for everybody? Would you recommend the book to other teachers? If so, why or why would you not?
Every book has its strengths and weaknesses, or other words, flaws. The take-away of a history book will mark the contributions it can give to the field. In fact, if it motivates a good debate then the book’s quality can help students to adequately explore the subject. So spend time scrutinizing the book and the effort will help you assess the history book positively overall.
If you find history boring, this video will unveil that what we nowadays need above all are good ideas… and history is full of them!
Best Books About History For Teachers
**Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links below, meaning that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
1) Everything You Need to Ace American History: The Complete Middle School Study Guide By Workman Publishing
Everything You Need to Ace American History lives up to its name by presenting notable events in American history from colonial America to the civil rights movement using an easy-to-understand format.
This book has an almost like real-school-notes-engaging presentation. It is a 520-page revolutionary study guide for middle school students and authored by Workman Publishing. The book incorporates visual learning through notebook lines and highlighted texts. Ideal for the classroom setting as it looks like the notes are borrowed from the smartest kid in class!
This study guide will make learning fun for 6th to 8th-grade students. It is also appealing for any age group who has forgotten why some wars were fought and how past events influence the way things are in the present. All these are in the context of American History.
This history book covers units like the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction, World Wars, the Depression. That includes all of the notable events of the 20th century. So much for everyone in the class to discover.
Not to mention that these events are laid out concisely in an almost conversational manner. So the book is also suitable for kids aged 11-14 or even younger whose brilliant minds embrace curiosity. There are review questions at the end of each chapter. You will find this book useful in checking your learner’s understanding of the recent lesson.
Certain details are also highlighted alongside fun and smart doodles to illuminate tricky lessons. It visualizes critical ideas and made easier by using kid-friendly vocabulary, clear definitions, and diagrams. More so, it uses mnemonics and helpful shortcuts to help students remember key concepts.
Without a doubt, Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook is certainly #1 in Children’s American History of the Amazon Best Sellers Rank. Given its features as an excellent reference and an engaging refresher, it is your turn to introduce children how interesting history can be.
2) Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World By Rachel Ignotofsky
Throughout history, many women have risked everything in the name of science. However, it is unfortunate that many people tend to overlook this.
Rachel Ignotofsky celebrates the achievements of these intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more. This book, Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World is dedicated to them.
This charmingly illustrated educational book highlights the contributions from ancient Greece to the modern-day, who in the face of “No” said, “Try and stop me.”
According to Lisa Congdon, this book affirms the important role of women in shaping humankind’s scientific journey through real stories of perseverance and passion. More so, it offers the next generation of young women a diverse set of relatable and enormously inspiring role models whenever they are faced with struggles of self-doubts and insecurities.
Based on discrimination and supposed roles that women hold in society, they are prone to depression, anxiety, and illnesses. The stories of obstacles and achievements by these extraordinary women provide young generation females with the courage to follow or embark on a journey with their own brand.
Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The book has good coverage of the 1800s and early 1900s — a critical time when women’s expanding participation in science was changing the very structure of how knowledge is pursued.
Some of the trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist, and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Recognized as a New York Times Best Seller, part of the Best Science Books of 2016, this book has already proven itself worthy without having been able to read it yet.
3) 100 African Americans Who Shaped American History By
Every individual with a field of expertise in history knows that learning about it is more than the whats, hows, and whys associated with historical timelines and notable events. Stories of the past uncover the rich heritage and bloodline of a nation.
100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History provides a perspective of the social aspect and entails what black people did in the past to shape the nation and influence the present American lives.
The old question of whether history is made by great individuals or impersonal forces remains in curious minds up to these days. According to Frank McDonough in “The Role of the Individual in History,” there is a common assumption that great individuals are the dominant influence in historical change.
In this book, an educational look at the prominent role that certain individuals played is provided; and even how their varied talents, ideas, and expertise contributed to American history.
Each of the 112 pages of the chronologically organized and meticulously researched book by the publisher, Bluewood Books are fully illustrated, with concise and easy-to-read text. It also includes an index, timelines, trivia quiz, and suggested projects.
Teeming with interesting facts and information, this book has the legendary men and women Benjamin Banneker, Dred Scott, Mary Church Terrell, George Washington Carver, and Bessie Smith. Also on the list are Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and 92 more, each of them with pictures. Young learners like reading books with interesting images.
It takes a lot of creativity for the publishers to produce this material. This only explains why this book has ranked #7 in Teen & Young Adult United States History of the Amazon Best Sellers. Regardless of age, this book is a small but huge investment for a teacher looking for the most beautiful histories that have ever been told.
African-Americans and how they shaped America – I vote this among my favorite narratives of American history.
4) The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II by Sarah Rose
D-Day Girls book unfolds the thrilling history of fearless women who, literally, armed the resistance and sabotaged the German Nazis.
Supporting allies in the dark, 39 women willingly left their families and the lives they once had to become the Special Operations Executive’s new spies and saboteurs. They did that for the sake of laying down the groundwork in securing the Allied Forces’ victory during the 2nd World War.
This book unravels declassified documents and shares the thought-provoking stories of five valiant women in a gripping and historical narrative. Sarah Rose will keep you and other readers at the edge of your seats as she weaves each of the accounts in great detail. A masterfully written, novel-like history book that will forever have its place in your hearts.
Reading this will change your perspective about what women can do. How the roles of these women played in the resistance and shifted the paradigms of war, is a must-read. Everything in the book will help you realize why history should be told and given importance. This is another motivating factor why schools and teachers should provide a book like this a necessary reading tool for students.
Not only does it include espionage and politics. It also expresses the courageous love affairs these women had, adding up to what they fought for and why. This made their stories all the more valorous, impactful, and dramatic. None of us would have known the sacrifices they made if not for Sarah Rose and the painstaking research she had done for this book.
Read this book. The way you empathize with these brave women shows how much their stories impacted you. For a history book that proves the relevance of women and how the weaker gender is capable of no fear by temperament — this history should really reach a wider audience.
5) The Founding Fathers: Those Horse-Ridin’, Fiddle-Playin’, Book-Readin’, Gun-Totin’ Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter and Barry Blitt
This book is a breath of fresh air for those who want to look at the Founding Fathers in another light. Know how the surprising facts and entertaining artwork have made this part of US history so intriguing.
Chock-full of men and their distinctive statuses, we ought to know how these types of leaders, who never seemed to get along well, bring about the United States and its constitution.
Jonah Winter made sure that even with all the facts spread out in this book, the readers can still laugh and feel light-hearted as they read along. This book is for a wide range of readers of all ages so everyone can absolutely enjoy learning about something as deep and complex as its story goes. This is also a great starter for children trying to study history because, unlike other history books, this one might actually be able to hold their attention.
The book contains two pages of extensive profile. Every page details everything from their vital statistics and accomplishments down to beliefs and hypocrisies. Barry Blitt’s hilarious caricatures fit perfectly with the cheeky narratives that Jonah Winter often portrays. There is a strong balance between statistical facts and heavy humor at play here which makes for helpful references one might be able to use in the future.
It is pretty evident that this is a book appropriate for future scholars, academic gamers, or students with mere curious minds. It uses a simple but rousing approach that can hone and season a child’s mind. You will be proud to display Founding Fathers in your classroom. If you see this book in public libraries, you will be as proud that you own a copy.
Enjoyable readings. Now you have an edge over how to pique a student’s interest in history.
6) Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman
Hidden Figures is a picture book based on four understated African-American women whose existence was just as important as the astronauts’ were to NASA, if not more.
The author, Margot Lee Shetterly, decided to publish this together with the award-winning illustrator, Laura Freeman, after the bestselling book and highly acclaimed film gained a lot of recognition. This way, even our youth can learn about this important piece of history that can inspire them to do the same.
With lovely illustrations, the book opens a way for students to learn about the extraordinary lives of black women Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan. Their huge contribution to aeronautics and space exploration is remarkably historic.
This is particularly motivational for girls and boys who are unsure about subjects with abstract theories. It can set their expectations of themselves high and even stimulate their minds to do bigger tasks in greater heights.
Another thing this picture book comes inspirational is how these women overcame the challenges in the context of racism and sexism. This urges the readers to think about how it affected these women’s lives and the stimulus they left to NASA.
Regardless of the book’s use of technical terms and scientific details all throughout, those specifics are necessary to bring the circumstances into a real-situation setting. Not just that, everything comes with thorough explanations for a more clear and comprehensible reading.
If you are a teacher looking for easy but interesting books – this one is perfect. NASA is a very lively subject for many. It can be fun to think that if people see the word NASA, the name automatically brings them to satellites, the moon, the stars, space, and our hero astronauts.
Therefore you can conclude how this book can stimulate both the young and old minds. Besides the movie, everyone will love to read the true story of how once there were black women who helped NASA launched men into space.
7) Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote by Susan Zimet and Todd Hasak-Lowy
Roses and Radicals talk about the fearless American women who, for more than 70 years, fought for the right to vote. The struggle for women’s suffrage movement has been a relentlessly uphill battle for so long that many of the front runners knew they would not live to cast a vote. Even so, they still persisted.
This book is an inciting narrative of how these women faced challenges, mockery, imprisonment, and torture. The impact on their will to have the same voice men have always been given in politics and in society as a whole.
This is a well-expounded book for young women, professionals, and feminists. A touchy story of roots and the struggles of these women just to give us the rights that we have now. Since the whole approach is written for teens, the book is easy to understand.
Not only did the book tackle blunt sexism. Authors Susan Zimet and Todd Hasak Lowy did not fail to address and discuss the indiscreet discrimination manifested during this time frame. They did not justify nor tried to avoid it, but rather laid out a completely comprehensible overview of the facts.
The Roses and Radicals book is well-written, modest, and competent. With a colloquial tone and insightful narrative, the complexity of the suffrage movement is delivered loud and clear. For its subject, it becomes one of the best books about history that tackles the women’s suffrage movement. A great reminder of how perseverance and persistence won women the right to vote – an achievement that remains relevant today.
Reading this book will acknowledge the struggles and efforts of these women leaders. Two thumbs up!
8) U.S. History for Dummies by
U.S. History for Dummies makes every relevant information accessible for students looking to ace their next history exam. That even includes lifelong learners alike who want to brush up on American History. This easy-to-follow guide covers the leaders, eras, and wars that shaped the nation.
The United States is in the period of undergoing political and social change. This book fills the need to improve high school proficiency in history by providing a comprehensive history of the United States. Not only is this presented in an accessible, reader-friendly format, but it is also designed to engage students while reinforcing lessons learned in class.
Seasoned political journalist and history writer Steve Wiegand will walk you through the events from pre-Columbian to the 21st century. The book also delved into leaders, explorers, wars, and the eras that have strongly contributed to how the past influences the future.
Also cited were different American figures from politicians to national treasures; the impact of the world wars, gold rush, and industrial development, the many causes and consequences of the Great Depression, including life in America from Camelot to Watergate. Educate everyone on how technology has shaped America and the many other events that have helped define American culture.
This will help your learners score higher in their next U.S. history exam!
U.S. History for Dummies book unlocks the door from the past and the future. Not all history is old news and the events of yesterday affect us all today. It is vitally important that citizens of certain countries should be well-versed in the building of their nation. Plus, the fact that they have to remain aware of current events.
For students, parents, and technically anyone wondering what they could have known better about American History, this book got you covered.
9) Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be By Charlotte Foltz Jones
When we think of how things that are commonly used in the world today came to be – we often ask ourselves where these things originate. Complex formulas may not apply to all, but they make histories.
In fact, most inventions were not intended to be what they are today. Some were even invented by mistake. These are the wonders gathered together in the book Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be in an informative and entertaining format.
This book only goes to show that not everything that comes out of our common errors turns out to be bad. Many young learners do not fully understand the perceptions of these mistakes. By re-enforcing examples of these “mistakenly” invented stuff like piggy banks, silly putty, potato chips, and Frisbees; parents and educators can instill a foundation of historical value.
Though this book is published for 3rd to 7th graders, this does not exempt the equally curious minds above this age bracket. Perhaps the rollercoaster ride of awe in this book about some mistake-turned-magnificent inventions would awaken the child within you!
Charlotte Foltz Jones is an author of award-winning non-fiction books for kids. John O’ Brien is a faithful contributor to the New Yorker magazine at the same time an illustrator of many popular books for children. Both authors incorporated great fun with anecdotal facts that can recollect the origins of food, clothing, toys, and devices that we commonly use.
Who would have thought that sandwiches came about when an English earl was too busy gambling to eat his meal and needed to keep one hand free? Not to mention, potato chips were first cooked by a chef who was furious when a customer complained that his fried potatoes weren’t thin enough?
Their unusual tales, and many more, along with hilarious cartoons and weird, amazing facts, make up this fun-filled book about everyday items that had surprisingly haphazard beginnings.
Look through this 96-paged adventure of splendid discoveries and who knows, this book might end up top in your list of books. If you like books that demonstrate facts and fun, then Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be fits the bill.
10) Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year
Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year book presents an instance of epic misfortune and unadulterated mayhem tied to every day of the year.
At first glance, the title is quite puzzling – it is all about bad days in history. Yet if you examine the book, it has a broader context of bewildering stories in the past. Uncovered by National Geographic and author Michael Farquhar, the entire book is enjoyable to read for it contains trivia-entertaining historical events. More so, the well-researched facts are written in such a way that sounds thrilling and touching.
A collection of stories from the famous Titanic, Dreyfuss Affair, George Wallace Terrible Turnaround to Bush’s Public Pukefest, and more. From Caligula’s Blood-Soaked End to Hotelier Steve Wynn’s Unfortunate Run-In with a Priceless Picasso; these 365 tales of misery include lost fortunes, romance gone wrong, and truly bizarre moments. The anecdotes are in a specific order.
One of the myths most people have about history class is that it is boring. This probably makes debunking the myth hard for teachers. Use the stories and events from this book. With miserable episodes of human history, they will realize that without historical facts, learning in school can be less interesting.
Tweak your students’ curiosity by providing real facts, events, and shocking truths. Let this book do that for you. Whatever your preferences are, rest assured that Bad Days in History will keep them hooked, interested, and bewildered. They will look forward to your next story.
11) History of the World Map By Map
One of the most amazing realities of existence is how much things have changed over the last 1,800 years.
Maps remind us that the world is divided with not just countries but much deeper than coast-to-coast borders. It displays the world’s different countries and most of all it tells us the stories of major events that shaped the earth.
Before written records began around BCE, there were found fossils and archaeological traces of our ancestors. The first human stories took place in Africa 6 or 7 million years ago. The continent recorded fossil remains which initiated the complex family tree of human relatives of which our species, Homo sapiens, is the last to survive.
This book about the world map talks about the first Australians, the first farmers, the origins of culture, and the first civilizations. You will like to know that the ancient world stretched from when the first cities developed around 3000 BCE to the fall of powers such as the Han of China and the Roman Empire in the first centuries CE.
History of the World Map contains 140-detailed maps with stories of overruling episodes in world history. The list includes the first human migrations out of Africa to the space race. No one will miss the stories of world wars, the aftermath of the Great War, and the Great Depression.
But not every page is full of maps. At key points in History of the World Map by Map, broad, sweeping introductions provide a chance to step back and look at entire periods. Picture spreads while focusing on epoch-defining moments or developments, such as fascism and communism, and the invention of printing.
In short, this book presents the history of the world in action charting how events traced patterns on land and ocean. The book may cater to the more serious and mature reader, but I think it is no less fascinating and easily understandable.
Maps are always interesting and so the events that come with them. Sure, you might be able to name the different continents or point the North Pole on the map, but does that give you a real understanding of how everything about these worlds works?
This must be the reason why History of the World Map ranks #1 bestseller in Amazon’s History Encyclopedias.
12) Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader by Ann Dils and Ann Cooper Albright
This book is a comprehensive and multifaceted anthology of dance history — ideal for the classroom.
Choreographer Mark Dendy makes dance historians smile. Someone who enjoys graceful body movements, his contemporary and polished dance forms created him a personal history of refinement and travesty. But regardless, they relay a special story of dance moves from the book to the stage.
Moving History/Dancing Cultures is a picture of dance teachers across the nation who frantically assembles for their dance history classes. It is not so much a dance technique as a technique of making dances, a creative method that generates from posture a unique vocabulary of movement for every new dance.
Their goal in the book is to make something useful – to make a record of what can stimulate both students and teachers alike. So if you are thinking about dance histories, this book will give you the pleasures of studying dance history, imagining dance, strategic abilities that negotiate the disabled body in dance, including the trouble with a male dancer.
Dance enables students to better understand how moving in a dance interprets themselves and the world in which they live in. These arts allow teachers to show children the significance of cultures around the world and how moving rhythmically to music defines the many diversities and values of all people.
Since using dance moves in class leverages this passion to motivate students and help them learn, let this book bring you to the first steps of structured movement as a fun and educational practice.
Your classroom may not require a dance party to make curricular connections. But like music, the interesting concepts of dances are relatable to students and can be used to enhance learning.
13) Inquiry-Based Lessons in World History (Vol. 1): Early Humans to Global Expansion by Jana Kirchner and Andrew McMichael
There are common questions in any history classroom. This book will help you answer these and more.
The lessons here are targeted to middle and high school students with the idea that world history is taught as a stand-alone course to these grades. These lessons can easily be adapted for all students as derivative lessons both in pull-out programs and home-school studying.
Teachers usually agree on the importance of inquiry and integrating historical thinking skills. However, they often are not sure how to integrate skills with content standards, what this integration might look like in their specific content area, or grade level, or where to find quality sources to use with students.
Inquiry-Based Lessons in World History (Vol. 1) spans the time period from 15,000 BCE to 1500 CE. It aims to encourage connections between people and places using standards-based lessons. With sections that cover the antiquity of life, early humans, and civilizations along with the world in transition, this book provides teachers the thorough and ready-to-use lessons they need.
Each section contains chapters that correspond to the scope and sequence of most world history textbooks. Also include an inquiry lesson beginning with an essential question that can be adapted to any classroom. It is a strategy that encourages students to take part in the learning process by reading and thinking like historians.
Inquiry-Based Lessons in World History grade 7-10 includes common core state standards. You definitely will agree that inquiry-based learning helps both you and your students create connections to what has been discussed. Their curiosity will help them participate. All this then allows them a deeper understanding of topics and content.
Now that is a lot different from memorizing and recalling names, dates, or formulas. A great history book for your class.
14) History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day By Smithsonian Institution
This book is a definitive history visual guide that from its title says, from the dawn of civilization to the present day.
It composes the evolution of how modern humans extends back to millions of years ago. Just thoughts of tracing that story far back may sound impossible. Pieces of evidence are scattered finds, all over and everywhere. If you don’t know it yet – know that the dominance of Homo Sapiens is reasonably recent.
Speaking of arts and communication, speech and language were among the major improvements in human history — it is probably more than toolmaking. The simple signs and grunts used by our ancestors that slowly were transformed into a sophisticated medium helped indicate when these important traits first evolved.
Much of human history also unfolded the Ice Age, the Spirit World which was beyond the understanding of the human senses, mind, and intellect. It includes the First Harvest, Village Life, Precious Metals, Town Planning, Rulers, and Hierarchies from 3000 to 700 BCE.
Why do I recommend this book?
Because it has what our young generation needs to master by heart — how humans began to bond together through organized communities. Everything is co-related. From how modern societies emerged, great powers of communication were developed, and how all these created a complex belief system that formed urban civilizations.
This is quite a serious history book. But knowing how our early civilizations have something to do with contemporary societies will determine whether historical civilizations ranging back 10,000 years are really in synchrony.
It is both exciting and challenging for students to study who conquered the sea and desert. Which system of government still influenced society today? Ask them which period was the first history written down. Do you know the answer?
Now I know it because I have read a glimpse of the book. Very interesting. Touching. Well-illustrated. Timely and truly influential. A perfect history topic!
15) Studies on the History of Behavior: Ape, Primitive, and Child By Vygotsky, Luria, Knox & Gulod
Charles Darwin developed a natural way of thinking where a creature must adapt in order to survive. For Darwin, feelings and emotion have a strong evolutionary connection that could be traced across cultures of all sorts.
Studies of the History of Behavior: Ape, Primitive, and Child, is one of the most important documents you can have for understanding behavior.
The authors used Darwin’s theories of biological evolution to the theory of cultural and ontogenetic change known to develop from ape to primitive man and eventually to cultural man. It also embodies a significant breakthrough of what controlled the nature and development of the human intellect.
The authors’ findings are by turn surprising, insightful, and informative. It all connects to the different behavioral qualities and cultural forces that make today’s teens unique. Much of this book is devoted to finding the missing link between the development of ape and man.
It was found that the ape’s favorite toy was a stick. Clever apes even invented a game jumping from a stick. You will like to read about the primitive man having superiority over a cultural man. How he is better armed by nature with a more acute sense of seeing, hearing, and smelling. Read the book!
This book offers an extensive examination and approach to other aspects of human development that until today receive little attention. Know the three stages of development behavior, how the anthropoid ape behaves, and the law of structure and ape behavior.
Many people today still are not sure whether to believe – creation or evolution. The many stages of evolution from primates that are now extinct has been a very long one. Beyond looks, this book will walk you through a number of humanlike behaviors practiced by our ape ancestors.
16) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Have you ever wondered about our existence? About who we truly are and how we came to be? What exactly does it mean to be human?
These questions might seem easy to answer but it’s actually more complex than we could ever imagine.
In all the study of history, the topic that most intrigues me up to this point in time is the history of humankind. There has always been a debate that follows throughout our existence. But one thing is for certain, we have been fueled by curiosity.
Curiosity helped us push and develop helping us become who we are today.
The Author of this next book on our list named Yuval Noah Harari a renowned historian, shined a light on the most intricate question up to date about our existence through the methods of both Science and Humanities, with his insightful book entitled “Sapiens: A Bried History of Human Kind”.
This book was laid out intelligently in black in white backed up with undoubtful facts from Biology, Anthropology, Sociology, Paleontology, Economics, and much more. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, probed how our Cultural History helped build the foundation of what human society is today.
One of the main focuses of this book centers on the argument of how from at least six different species of humans that inhabited earth—how is it that homo sapiens became the dominant species and is the only one that is left as well.
What has become of the others? What will become of us in the future? Some thoughts to ponder on right? That’s why this book amazes me, as it’s just pure brilliance.
I’m just astonished how the auto brilliantly and originally gathered up all his might and explained the complexities of human existence is beyond impressive ways. That’s why it’s a must for you to read this book.
If these bits of teaser information piqued your interest, I suggest for you to grab a copy and enrich your mind with insightful bits about our existence.
17) Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Did you know that out of the different types of rock we have around the world, salt is the only rock that we eat? Yes, you read that right. Salt, a form of rock that we humans consume.
But, do you ever wonder how salt was discovered and how it became a staple not only in one place or culture but in every household that exists today.
Salt, a simple household item that has a long and intriguing history that might surprise you. We use it in many ways not only limited to cooking, and its discovery has been a great step forward for civilization to prosper and advance crucially contributing segments helping it to become what it is today.
Fun fact! Before refrigerators, salt was used to help preserve meat and vegetable, it helped humankind preserve food from one season of harvest to another. It is even used for human bodies which are known for the mummification process.
Can you imagine salt being used as a currency? Crazy, right? But it did actually happen during ancient times, it became so valuable that the roman empire used it to pay their soldiers hence inventing the word Salary. Do you see it salt—salary?
It shaped how civilization worked, how trade routes and cities were established. Up to the point where it even started wars and even financed it, all because of this simple item that we can see every day. It is truly astonishing how salt started to revolutionize the way of living back then.
This book is a great way to look into history through a different lens, which I would know all can relate to, even though salt is something often overlooked as we do have an abundance of supply of it now unlike before.
If you want to be illuminated by how the world was taken by something so simple as salt. Then this would be a great book that would give you valuable insight and a different perspective on things.
Getting the best history books is the goal that I wish you to find for your class. These are the books that give a thorough explanation of old events or the historical period: more so than any book can give.
I hope you got a ton of value out of my list of history books. Whatever books about history you have in mind, understanding its overall context allows you to make generalizations about how the world got into its current state. This also makes teaching history easier, interesting, a lot more fun, and engaging.
My list of books about history has topics that can help you engage your students. By creating a setting that brings you and the whole class back in history, it will be like entering into that culture. Also, I picked enticing books so it can be easy for you to make everyone feel like they are experiencing those historic events.
If you look at the books, they hold topics that can attract, captivate, or charm students into the legend. Once their minds are set into the big picture, you are all in. So if you are reading stories of that time period, the experience can be even more immersive. The next thing now depends on how you can maintain the real-like feeling and mindset.
Another thing is that history books do not require too much memorization, but only facts, narrations, and pictures. I hope your students will be more inclined to retain the information.
Lastly, I would like to recommend buying history books that you know you will read multiple times. The intuition you have for the book will help you determine if the topic is what you would want to tackle in the class with yearning. I say yearning because without desire – there is no excitement in teaching history. That is how teachers make a difference.
Do you have great history books in mind that you wish to share with us or add to the list? Please don’t hesitate to comment below.
1) Why should I buy the books you have recommended? What is on each book that is interesting?
The books on the list present valuable facts. The contents are also written, narrated, and published by reliable authors who did good research with all contents verified.
If you look at the books, they hold topics that can draw or even “hypnotize” the mind into prying remarks like “Hey, what could be in this book?” or “I want to know what really happened so should read this book!” Although the bottom line still depends on your interpretation, the books, in general, are comprehensible, distinct, and timely.
Another thing is these history books are easy to use. The stories also don’t require massive reading and heavy memorization. I purposely picked this approach believing that students will be more inclined to retain information because they enjoyed the story by heart. To me, interesting facts, narrations, and pictures in a history book can be very helpful to teachers.
2) How can I determine if an author is credible?
You can do this by going to the introduction/foreword/preface section of the book. Here you will see the author’s areas of expertise, credentials, or biographical information. You can also check if the author has written other articles or publications. Citation is an indication that the author is credible. If you like, try searching Google Scholar to link to an author’s profile. Or check the back cover of the book for achievements.
3) What types of history books do you think would be exciting for students these days? Places, culture, arts…etc… Any suggestions?
The perfect history books depend on the interests and relevancy of your topic. Are you talking about wars and conflicts, famous people, sports, cultures, valiant women, or world leaders?
Your students, their level of understanding, and their present interests can help you pick a historical topic. Most of all, a lot of students cannot quite keep up in retaining historical information and end them up disliking the subject. So a wonderful topic and strategy are crucial. What you are willing to deliver and how far you can provide for the class also matter.
For example, the topic culture cites many historical events within specific cultural backgrounds. Considering that teens today are fanatics of online samurai games, then perhaps something like the history of Samurai (or Bushi) warriors of pre-modern Japan will teach them that samurai is not the name of a sword but are trained officers in military tactics. It will bring them to understand why Japanese soldiers almost always chose suicide over surrender during World War II. Exciting enough?
The world is rich with mind-blowing historical places, as well. You can be Indiana Jones or Nicolas Cage while exploring the history of the national treasure. The Giza Pyramids, as well as the sculpture of the Great Sphinx, will be a dream place to visit if your students will only know the real story and value behind its existence.
4) How can I make my history classes fun and interesting?
Regardless of how insightful a history book is to you if your students find the topic boring, it will ruin any chances of fun.
History can be both informative and fascinating. So it either involves pure lectures or that which encourages engagement and exchanging of ideas. History classes can use strategies like students watching a history documentary rather than having them read chapters of a thick book.
Students love acting, costumes, and activities outside the routinely reading, note-taking, and listening to you. The topic world leaders, for instance, can encourage debate, and even more challenging if you ask them to mimic a leader character from their way of dressing to the way they deliver a speech.
Getting your students to love the subject may not happen in a day. But it is most certainly possible that your strategies can help make them curious about many events in the past and eventually fall in love with it.
5) I am looking for best-sellers? How can I do that?
Amazon has the list of almost all books that are sold online. Go to the Amazon Kindle Bestsellers List. In the center of the page, you will see “showing results for amazon kindle best sellers.” This usually shows the top 100 paid and free Kindle books. You can select a category of the best-sellers in that group – it is located on the top left of each book.
6) I would love my kids to love history as a subject. Can you give me suggestions pertaining to child-friendly books about history? That which are not boring for children.
Children’s books about history have a wide range of titles you can choose from.
There are picture books, board books, and chapter books. Board books are great for babies and toddlers because they are made of paperboard so they can stand wear and tear. Picture books are usually best from toddlers to preschool children as the books are designed with interesting pictures where an adult can read aloud for more fun storytelling with young kids. Chapter books generally are recommended for children from elementary grades to early middle school.
Children will love you to read the books to them. Since historical stories carry touching messages, it can be a motivating factor for kids to imitate the good deeds of the characters.
7) There are thick history books that look worth-reading. Can the thickness guarantee a good book?
Thick history books surely have a wide compilation of stories. However, long books can take time to read or finish reading. Plus, the massive pages of books may sound a chore for many students.
In general, buying thick and long history books is a matter of choice. It all depends on your style of teaching and your purpose. On your part as a teacher, the long book may accommodate your span of attention, but may not be the same for your students.
8) How can I purchase Kindle books on Amazon?
There are easy steps you can follow:
- Open your browser on your computer, iPhone, or iPad.
- Log in to your Amazon account and then navigate to the Kindle e-books page.
- Select an e-book you want to purchase.
- Under Deliver To: change the device to Kindle Cloud Reader.
- Select Buy Now with 1-Click.
After you have purchased at least one e-book and added it to your Kindle library via the Kindle Cloud Reader, it will automatically appear in the Kindle app. If you want to download your Kindle Library books in the Kindle app, follow the instructions here.
9) Can a history book be considered literature?
History and literature are specially related to each other:
History is the study of the past and deals with information and facts. From natural events like volcanic eruptions leading to the formation of beautiful islands to people and culture, how traditions came to be, societies and their problems, including disasters and wars.
Literature is the study of the written work or records of the events in history. It comes from the imagination of the writer and generally classified in the form of drama, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. It also has different categories like nature, geographical locations, or time periods. This explains why we have medieval literature, classical literature, French literature, Modern literature, or Romantic literature.
10) Many youngsters may also dislike history. If you were a teacher yourself, what would you tell your children why they are required to study history?
I think it is important to show children some examples that relate to historical events. Children love stories so history books play a very important role here. Coupled with a good conversation about how the present connects to the past, it would be easier to open up different history topics to expose them to while growing up.
Examples like how earthquakes or the movement of tectonic plates led to the creation of continents will stir up curiosity on natural features and how they came to be. I believe the main reasons why students are pressured with history are the long pages of readings, places, dates, and names of people that they have to commit to memory.
This is a challenge for parents with small children. When kids are old enough to understand current events and history, it is a perfect opportunity to talk about the news, world events, and how people and civilizations lived in the past.