Fifty Famous Stories Retold {Free eBook & Activities}

Fifty Famous Stories Retold {Free eBook & Activities}
Fifty Famous Stories Retold {Free eBook & Activities}

Fifty Famous Stories Retold is a collection of short stories that teacher and editor of the American Book Company, James Baldwin, thought important to one’s education — the lives of well-known heroes, famous men, and historical figures.

As a matter of course, some of these stories are better known, and therefore more famous, than others. Some have a slight historical value; some are useful as giving point to certain great moral truths; others are products solely of the fancy, and are intended only to amuse. Some are derived from very ancient sources, and are current in the literature of many lands; some have come to us through the ballads and folk tales of the English people; a few are of quite recent origin; nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose and in the conversation of educated people.

The fifty stories touch on the lives of:

  • Socrates.
  • Julius Caesar.
  • King Alfred.
  • Robin Hood.
  • William Tell.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh.
  • Pocahontas.
  • George Washington.
  • Napoleon.
  • And many others.

Fifty Famous Stories Retold has been included on a wide variety of homeschool book lists and in curriculum options such as Ambleside Online and Robinson.

While younger children focus on developing their essential basic skills, they can learn the content subjects in a simpler way. One way is by reading biographies and historical stories. Fifty Famous Stories Retold is a great fit for this need. If nothing else, your child can simply enjoy reading the book!

That children naturally take a deep interest in such stories, no person can deny; that the reading of them will not only give pleasure, but will help to lay the foundation for broader literary studies, can scarcely be doubted

Free eBook
  • There are several ways to cover the stories:
    • Read one story each day for an approximately 10-week study.
    • Cover three stories each week for an approximately one-semester study.
    • Stretch the stories over the year by covering two stories each week with room for holidays and other interruptions.
    • Arrange the stories in chronological order, and insert the stories into your reading list.
    • Add the book to your child’s reading list and let him enjoy them on his own.
  • Fifty Famous Stories Retold lends itself very well to notebooking. Create a page for each story. Narrate and illustrate the story on Drawing & Writing Paper.
  • Younger students can copy and illustrate a simple passage from each story.
  • Add the characters and events mentioned to a timeline.
  • Research the background of each story to learn more.
  • Find the mentioned locations on a map and include these maps in your notebook.
  • Follow the rabbit trails — learn more about hawks, spiders, the William Tell Overture, or elephants.
  • For those stories that really capture the attention of your child, find an additional biography to include.
  • Most of the stories include a theme or moral. See if your student can find the theme and illustrate it.

Additional Resources
30 Narration Ideas

30 Narration Ideas
There is more than one way to narrate!


Interactive Timeline Maker {Free}
Fun and easy way to create a timeline.


Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin
Paperback published by Yesterday’s Classics for those interested.

William Tell Told Again {Free eBook & Go-Along Activities}
A fun version by P.G. Wodehouse with lots of activities!

Dick Whittington and His Cat

Dick Whittington and His Cat by Marcia Brown
Fun addition by a favorite author. Caldecott Honor winner.

Unit Studies

Free Nature Studies: Spider Weavers
Portion of our nature studies that includes the story of “Bruce and the Spider.”

Jamestown: A Unit Study

Jamestown: A Unit Study
To learn more about Pocahontas.

Free History Studies: George Washington and the Cherry Tree
Part of our history study that include the story of “George Washington and His Hatchet.”

Napoleon: A Unit Study

Napoleon: A Unit Study
Many activities, books, and more in our free unit study.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Portable Atlas (PAT) {Featured Site}
Maps for your notebook.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Great for copying and illustrating the stories.