A Pathfinder for 5th Graders – The American Revolution

Helpful Information

Call numbers for nonfiction:

  • 921   Biography (alphabetical by name of  person the book is about)
  • 973   United States history
  • 974    Northeastern United States history
  • 975    Southeastern United States History
  • Books about daily life and occupations may also be under the call numbers for specific subjects.  Do a subject search in the online catalog to find them.

Magnolia School Catalog

Search terms:

  • Colonial cooking, colonial clothing, colonial games, colonial jobs, colonial life, etc.
  • American Revolution
  • Boston Massacre
  • Boston Tea Party
  • Concord, Battle of
  • United States Colonial Period
  • United States Revolution
  • AUTHOR search for Fisher, Leonard Everett  (This author wrote the “Colonial Craftsmen” books, which describe many different colonial jobs.)
  • American Revolution
  • Revolutionary War
  • War for Independence
  • Loyalists
  • Patriots
  • George Washington
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Lexington and Concord
  • Boston Massacre
  • Boston Tea Party
  • Sons of Liberty
  • Declaration of Independence

Don’t forget to use Abdo Digital for ebooks – you will need the username and password

Print Resources

Nonfiction – Events

Let It Begin Here bookcover

Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution by Dennis Brindell Fradin – Excellent book that really lets you feel as if you are in the action. Details the 24 hours leading up to the Battles in Lexington & Concord.

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride bookcover

Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – “Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere …” These are the first lines of one of the most exciting poems in American literature. You will enjoy the paintings that bring this poem to life.

Nonfiction – Biographies

Will you sign here John Hancock bookcover

Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? by Jean Fritz – We all know that John Hancock was one of the first guys to sign the Declaration, but do you know WHY he signed it so large? Read this biography to find out why and many other little-known facts about John Hancock.

Sam Adams bookcover

Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams? by Jean Fritz – Our founding fathers were real people and in this biography you get to see Sam Adams as he really was; a guy who didn’t get into wearing the current fashions and he didn’t give up his beliefs just to go along with his peers. Find out why he also wouldn’t ride a horse in this wonderful biography.

Nonfiction – Biographies

Independent Dames bookcover

Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American by Laurie Halse Anderson – We all know the stories of the heroic men who helped our country win its independence, but what about the GIRLS?! They didn’t sit around hiding while the men went out and rescued everyone! No way! They were just as important as the guys during this time of war – they weren’t just nurses either! They were spies, soldiers, and more!

Patrick Henry bookcover

Patrick Henry: Liberty or Death (Graphic Biographies) by Jason Glaser – This graphic novel makes learning about Patrick Henry an adventure instead of reading another boring history book. This biography of the “Voice of the American Revolution” will be one of your favorites.

Nonfiction – Daily Life

Boston Tea Party bookcover

You Wouldn’t Want to Be at the Boston Tea Party!: Wharf Water Tea You’d Rather Not Drink by Peter Cook – Have you ever wished for a time machine to travel back to see what was really going on during important times in our history? You may want to rethink that! Read this story of a poor guy from Boston who is too short to join the British Army! I don’t know if he would recommend the trip.

Colonies bookcover

The Dreadful, Smelly Colonies: The Disgusting Details About Life in Colonial America (Disgusting History) by Elizabeth Raum – After learning about the moldy food, dirt covered clothes, poisonous pests, and extreme weather, you may decide that life at the time of the American Revolution was just downright nasty!


Declaration of Independence bookcover

The Declaration of Independence (True Books: American History) by Elaine Landau – If you plan on investigating The Declaration of Independence then this is the book for you. You will find a glossary, an index, and many details that will put you ahead of the rest of the class! Be sure to checkout the “Find Out More” section!

George Washinton bookcover

George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer – Are you looking for information about how the other side felt during the Revolution? This is the book you need. You will find the story told from both sides of the ocean.

eyewitness bookcover

DK Eyewitness Books: American Revolution by Stuart Murray – Just like all of our favorite DK Eyewitness books, this book has all of the great photographs, illustrations, and captions that lets us peruse these books for hours. You will find details about the people, battles, and events of the American Revolution on the timeline, in the glossary, and on the maps. Perfect for all of you visual learners!

revolution for kids bookcover

The American Revolution for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Janis Herbert – True stories from the people who were there are here in this great resource. All of the important events of the revolution can be found as well as activities that will make this time period more memorable. Included in the back is a glossary and websites that will be useful for further reading.


Reading fiction books can be a fun way to get a better feeling for what life was like during the colonial times.  While not always historically accurate and, as such, not a true research source, reading historical fiction can aid in understanding the lives of historical figures.  Below are some good ones, but there are plenty of others.  Try a catalog search of our library – Magnolia School Catalog

American Girl series: Felicity books by Valerie Tripp (colonial Williamsburg)

Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons by Ann Rinaldi

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing series by M. T. Anderson

A Stolen Life by Jane Louise Curry

The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

Sarah Bishop by Scott O’Dell

Guns for General Washington by Seymour Reit

The Keeping Room by Anna Myers

The Fighting Ground by Avi

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

Revolutionary War on Wednesday by Mary Pope Osborne

Winter of Red Snow: Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart – Dear America series

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Rush Revere and the First Patriots by Rush Limbaugh

If these books are checked out and you just can’t wait – try any of the branches of  Baldwin County’s Public Libraries

Non-Print Resources

america rocks cover

The Preamble to the Constitution is much easier to remember when it’s set to music. And everyone who saw the cartoon remembers how a bill becomes a law (“Oh, I’m just a bill, a lonely old bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill”). These and eight other shorts make up America Rock – School House Rock, a 30-minute program that will stir patriotism and teach you kids a bit of history.

liberty kids cover

Travel back in time to witness history in the making with Benjamin Franklin’s teenage reporters, the Liberty Kids, as they confront the real and physical dangers of the American Revolution. Trapped in opposite sides of the war – James, an American colonist, and Sarah, a young English reporter – are forced to choose between friendship and allegiance to their countries. All while they try to look after mischievous Henri, a French boy whose comical escapades constantly lead to trouble. Journey through history and discover the high points of the American Revolution through this fun and animated educational adventure!

Checkout these videos at the librarian’s desk in the library.

Database Resources

A Revolutionary Revision

“A revolutionary revision.” Junior Scholastic 27 Feb. 2012: 2+. Kids InfoBits. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

This short article explains some of the mistakes in the famous portrait of Washington and his men crossing the Delaware River.

Retrieved from our library’s Kids InfoBits – Gale

The French Join the Fight

Matlack, George. “The French join the fight.” Cobblestone Oct. 2013: 21+. Kids InfoBits. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

This article will help you if you are looking for reasons that France teamed up with the Americans against the British.

Retrieved from our library’s Kids InfoBits – Gale

Website Resources

brainpop logo American Revolution – subscription, you must login to access most videos – Ready for a revolution? In this BrainPOP movie, Tim and Moby teach you the basics of the American Revolutionary War! Discover who and what helped jumpstart the Revolution.

britannica logo Encyclopedia Britannica – subscription, you must login to access the complete article – This classic encyclopedia has a great entry that will fill you in on what you need to know about the American Revolution.

 pbs liberty logo PBS, Liberty! The American Revolution  “Liberty is the official companion to the PBS television series, LIBERTY” It provides an abundance of information regarding the American Revolution. logo Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government  Ben’s Guide provides opportunities to learn about themes related to our Government. These themes, called Learning Adventures, are divided into three school-age categories. You can find lots of information about the Declaration of Independence here.

Virtual Field Trip

The American Revolution  This is one field trip you will not want to miss! By the time you complete the tour you will be well on your way to an awesome essay with the kinds of details your teacher will be proud of. Be sure to download the Field Guide to complete as you tour.


Music of the Revolutionary War  Here you will be able to actually listen to the music of the day – the revolutionary day anyway! Listen to the many tracks available to hear what the soldiers and citizens heard.