We are currently working through writer and educator James Baldwin’s list of 100 Best Books for Children. Many will be familiar with Baldwin’s own works such as Fifty Famous Stories Retold, Fifty Famous People, Hero Tales, and more. Four Great Americans contains Baldwin’s biographies of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln.
Baldwin had an interesting history. He was self-educated before becoming an educator and later superintendent of schools in Indiana. He left that post to take a position with Harper Publishing, eventually becoming the editor for the American Book Publishing company that produced so many titles of that time.1
His biographies are always very well written, interesting, and told in story form. In these character sketches, he focuses more on the person and less on the accomplishments. They make nice introductions for younger readers.
Each biography contains 15 chapters, making this book easy to break down for a year’s worth of history lessons.
Just in time for Presidents Day! Enjoy.
- Create a character study for each individual.
- Occasionally ask for narrations as you read through.
- Use Drawing and Writing paper to illustrate and describe a well-liked scene.
- Create a timeline showing the larger milestones for each individual.
14 Forms of Writing for the Older Student: Biography
Help for writing a character-based biography for the older student.
Free History Studies: Daniel Webster
More resources and prinables.
Abraham Lincoln: A Unit Study
Dozens of resources.
1 “Huntington’s First Supt. of Schools Dies,” The Huntington Press (Huntington, Indiana), September 2, 1925.