Wednesday, July 1, 2015

French & Indian War Resources

We’ve decided to rabbit trail form our normal plans for a couple of weeks here & take some time to study the French & Indian War a bit more in depth. Why? It’s a major turning point & reason for the Revolutionary War. After all, if there’d been no British defences during that war then there may have been no reason for King George to tax the colonists, in which case the chances of a rebellion on behalf of the colonist people would have been unlikely, & history would look vastly different. It did happen though, & it was a major turning point!

Our history curriculum glances over it with a few snippets of information here & there, & a couple of books staggered at the wrong time. So, I decided to round up a few resources & pull together a small unit on the topic myself, & as I need to keep track of what I’m doing for when the next one hits this time period I thought I’d share our plans here. 


Struggle For A Continent was a give-in for purchasing as one of our spines. The Maestro books are beautiful & well written with little bias & mostly a whole lot of fact telling, equally representing what happened. I was delighted to discover there was one written about this very time period & was quick to make the purchase.

The French & Indian War is part of Scholastic’s Cornerstones of Freedom series. We’ve read a few from this series & haven’t minded them. This particular one is broken down into 4 chapters, plenty of illustrations, a timeline, maps, & more.

Calico Bush was our scheduled read aloud with our curriculum & rather then waiting until after studying the Revolutionary War I simply grabbed it out of our stack to use now. Thus far we’re enjoying the story, all though I will say it can be a real tongue strangler at times to read aloud. Ever have books like that?

Calico Captive is a story about a young family awoken early one morning to their home being ransacked by Native Americans, in the fray they themselves are kidnapped & taken prisoner. On the incredibly long trail they experience a few hardships before landing, eventually, in Quebec. The story is based on the diary of one of the characters in the book. The main character takes a long time to grow up in the story & her opinion of the peoples around her is often tainted by both the time she grew up in, the horrors around her, & immaturity. Also available in audio format.

Indian Captive is another story about a colonist taken prisoner due to the impending war. Again, it too is based on the diaries & stories of a real person. This book was even more interesting to me as I was familiar with some of the areas the story took place. Mary’s story is different in that she spends her entire time in the Indian Village & becomes part of their family. Also available in audio format.

Matchlock Gun is finally a story about this time period with a boy as it’s hero. Edward is left in charge while his father is away keeping watch for a raid from the Indian tribes. Edward is left with a gun that is bigger then he is to protect his Mamma & sister should he need to.

Madeline Takes Command is an audio book we picked up on cd last year. This story shows a differing perspective in that it takes place in New France & shows the opposing side & some of their struggles as well. Again, based on a true story & heroine from history.

Ghost Hawk, beautifully narrated by the beloved Jim Dale, is more a prerequisite to the French & Indian war showing the constantly deteriorating relationship between the Colonists & the Native Americans of that time as 2 young boys from each side befriend each other.

The Arrow Over The Door this is a book assigned later in our history programme so we may save for later. However, it too is based on a real story, but has a male hero at it’s core. Oddly enough many of the books about this time period seem to have female heroines at their core so my boy just might enjoy pulling this one out to read.

Other Resources

Notebook/Lapbook are offered up for free here. Simply choose which ones, or all, that you want, download & print.

PBS The War That Made America DVDs unfortunately I couldn’t find these on iTunes or Netflix, so I had to pick them up as DVDs. Not that I mind owning DVDs, but our DVD player is on the fritz! My boy so loves being able to watch historical movies, especially documentaries, that I decided fritz or not it was worth the effort.

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