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U.S. History Detective® Book 1

Colonial Era to Reconstruction Era

Grades: 8-12+

Social Studies

Full Curriculum

Grades: 8-12+

Social Studies

Full Curriculum

  •  Multiple Award Winner
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Description & Features

What makes this 336-page book different from other American history books is the integration of critical thinking into the content lessons. The questions in this book require deeper analysis and frequently ask for supporting evidence from the lesson. This in-depth analysis produces greater understanding, which results in better grades and higher test scores. Over time, students who practice critical thinking learn to apply it throughout their education and lives. This book also develops reading comprehension and writing skills, and challenges students to learn new vocabulary.

This colorful book brings U.S. history to life!  It is full of fascinating facts, pictures, and maps. It can be used as a stand-alone textbook, supplement to your textbook, or as a review course for older students. The vocabulary and content skills are based on common state social studies standards. This book has both primary and secondary source information. Each lesson provides a passage students must read, followed by a series of questions. Questions are multiple choice, short answer, or short essay questions. Students are frequently asked to identify sentence evidence from the lesson that best supports the answer. Sample answers are provided which identify key points for the essays. In addition, there are section review activities and some bonus activities.

In these books, students will:
     •  Supply supporting evidence for many of their answers
     •  Supply essay evidence to support their conclusions by drawing on specific information from the lesson
     •  Draw inferences and conclusions based on their evaluation of the evidence
     •  Distinguish between facts and opinions
     •  Analyze historical chronology to see history as a series of interrelated events
     •  Acquire new vocabulary
     •  Learn to interpret and draw information from geographical maps, political cartoons, and charts
U.S. History Detective® Book 1 focuses on American history from the time of the first European explorers interacting with Native Americans through the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War.  The lessons and activities in this book are organized around these time periods:
     •  The Colonial Era
     •  The Revolutionary Era
     •  The Federal Era
     •  The Nationalism Era
     •  The Reform Era
     •  The Expansion Era
     •  The Sectional Conflict Era
     •  The Civil War Era
     •  Reconstruction Era

Product Details

Item#: 07301BBP
Author(s): Steven Greif
TOC: View Table Of Contents
Type: Student Book with Answers
Media: Paperback Book
License: Reproducible
ISBN–10: 1-60144-242-4
ISBN–13: 978-1-60144-242-0
Pages: 336, Color (Perforated)


Creative Child Magazine 2015 Book of the Year Award, Educational Books for Kids Category Tillywig Brain Child Award, 2015

Product Reviews Write a review for this product

"Hello i am a teacher and this book really helped my kids learn a lot. if you are interested in the book go ahead and buy it you wont regret it. " - Readyforit854, New york
"I just want to thank you for this curriculum! My son has always said he hates U.S. History and I told him with the right books he would find it really interesting. I'm happy to say he loved U.S. History Detective! He was engaged and even looked forward to doing history on many days. We both appreciate how it's written and the format of the questions. Educational materials should be thoughtful, engaging, and provoke a love of learning, and books one and two both fit that criteria." - Shannon, Ohio
"I just wanted to thank you for U.S. History Detective. My daughter has always disliked history but, thanks to your book, she is really enjoying learning about it now! She looks forward to her lesson every day and I look forward to hearing her tell me what she's learned. It's wonderful to see her excited about history!" - Erica H, Chardon, OH
"I’ve found U.S. History Detective Book One to be an exceptional tool for learning history. The lessons are arranged well and the information is presented in an interesting way. The questions at the end of each lesson are designed for students to gain the maximum benefit from what they’ve read, as well as enabling them to grow in critical thinking. The graphics, maps, photos and illustrations are eye-catching and beautiful. The lesson lengths are just right and very accessible, so that students build knowledge upon knowledge and skill upon skill. One of the things that I found to be a fantastic benefit to the book is the essay portion. And, I also loved that U.S. History Detective doesn’t teach ONLY history. Rather, it interweaves what was happening in art, in journalism, in political writing, in economics, in scientific invention along with what was happening historically in each era. That even provides rabbit trails for further educational exploration as you study the course!" - Melanie, Colorado
"The text is very well written, each topic within a lesson is titled which really help my girls if they needed to go back and look for an answer to the questions. We loved the maps that are included. It made if very easy to locate places that were included in the text. The pictures that are placed throughout make a great addition to the book and makes things easier to remember. The girls favorite part are the Fun Fact Features, I think they went through the book to read them all before they even started using it. Some of the questions are multiple choice, but the student cannot just guess at the answer. They actually have to go back and find the sentence in the text where they got their answer. U.S. History Detective makes a great addition to any classroom -- no matter if your children are taught at home, public or private school." - Lisa, NE
"This book is fabulous. In the multiple choice questions, you have to do more than just figure out the correct answer -- you also have to give the sentence number(s) that best supports your answer. I love that. This isn't just about what you know -- it is about being able to read text and support your conclusions. I simply love this book." - Debra, CO
"Asperger's Syndrome is a disorder that effects the social side of kids and adults. My son has a lot of difficulty with how to act in social situations and even has a difficult time with things that effect you socially such as reading body language and understanding idioms and nuances. That makes reading comprehension often difficult for him. However, Asperger's kids are often very gifted in particular areas. Geography and History are the areas in which my son is very advanced. Unfortunately, those two things combined - his love for geography/history and his reading comprehension problems - often make finding good homeschool curriculum that will keep his interest difficult. That is why this book is really perfect for him and any history loving child that has reading difficulties. It is written in an interesting way. It's not like the boring textbooks that we knew as a child. It is very thorough but the lessons are fairly short so he is able to remain focused and interested. It helps to develop critical thinking skills. From the start you notice the difference. Each sentence in each lesson is numbered. The reason that they are numbered is because the questions asked at the end of each lesson often ask that you back up your answer by noting which sentence gave you the information that you used to answer that question. It teaches the child how to think and look for answers and therefore they will retain the information and learn more. I really like that approach. It also has reviews after every two or three lessons. Having a review every two or three lessons helps any student to learn, but especially helps children that are distracted and don't retain things easily. We highly recommend this book to anyone as a supplemental history book, or as the main U.S. History Curriculum." - Tim, Good News Ministries
"The way the content is broken up is much more conducive to retention than other history textbooks. There are multiple choice and free response review sections, charts and diagrams, a "Fun Fact" section for each lesson, and lots of pictures to help with the multiple ways a student needs to get the material into the brain's memory banks. I am always impressed with The Critical Thinking Co.'s ability to make their books interesting and interactive as compared to other texts. My daughter really likes this book and finds that it works well with her learning style. She tends to have trouble retaining a lot of text, so having it broken up in meaningful ways and with frequent student response sections has really helped her make more sense of U.S. History." - Angie, TN
"Throughout the book there are Fun Facts, such as the one about the development of a special whole grain bread, called Graham bread, known today as Graham crackers. We found these little tidbits of trivia fun to read!

The reading passages are interesting and the high quality illustrations supplement it well. We have found that it is also not dry and boring like many history texts. The review questions encourage them to think critically which helps them to retain more from what they read. I would recommend U.S. History Detective Book 1 as a good way to study United States history!" - Jennifer, MO
"I found plenty of detailed extras that really round out this curriculum, including editorial cartoons that teach the student the cultural mindset of the period they are studying, and help them understand and interpret various historical writings, statements, and events. This book is very thorough, and effectively teaches the highlights of American History that every American high schooler should know before graduating. We found that controversial topics are written in an objective way, for the student to draw their own conclusions. It leaves plenty of room for the teacher/parent to guide the student in the perspective that they would like to emphasize. If a student is studying and preparing to take standardized testing, either AP, SAT Subject, or CLEP, in U.S. History, this book would be a great help in that preparation. " - Erica, NY
"US History Detective Book I presents history lessons (the Colonial Era through Reconstruction), yes, but it incorporates critical thinking skills (imagine that) into the lessons themselves. If your child doesn't cotton to such things - don't worry, it's done so subtly that they won't even realize it's happening! The feature that I love so much about this book is that when it asks students a question, even when the answer is multiple choice, it requires them to identify the sentence or paragraph that supports their answer. Learning that skill is such a valuable one! Also, the full-color graphics are just gorgeous! The format is deceptively simple, but the content is surprisingly deep." - Laura, TX
"“US History Detective was exactly what my 12 y.o.daughter, who is a prolific reader, needed. Up until now, she's been learning history by reading historical fiction books and biographies, as well as watching documentaries and movies. US History Detective gave her the opportunity to test her knowledge, review dates and learn important facts she had missed. She does not like textbooks but US History Detective is far from being a textbook. Each lesson is short and concise, about 3 pages long filled with graphics, maps and pictures. Once the text is read, there are about 9-10 multiple choice questions ACT/SAT style – this has been great practice for my daughter who had no experience with test taking until now. After each lesson, the student is also required to answer a short essay question and put into writing what they just learned. One feature we really like is the review every 3 lessons. They keep the facts she's learning up front and fresh. Overall, I think this is the perfect curriculum for students who do not like textbooks, or need practice taking ACT/SAT tests or just need a quick review of US History. As an unschooling/ecclectic family, this curriculum was the perfect fit for us. Each lesson takes about 30 minutes to do and is engaging and interesting. I am looking forward to Book 2 and will probably use this curriculum with my other kids as well. "" - Tereza, Alabama
"U.S. History Detective Book I covers American history from the Colonial Era through the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. It works quite well as either a stand-alone textbook, supplemental resource, or as a review. One of several ways this book successfully enhances students' understanding is through a strong emphasis on integrating critical thinking into the learning process. Lessons are concise - a brief passage to read followed by a series of multiple choice, short answer, or short essay questions that ask students to provide evidence to support their answers. Students are engaged by this approach and develop a predisposition towards thinking through how they arrive at their answers, a practice that will do them in good stead for years to come. Fun Fact Features are sprinkled throughout the book in a game-like fashion that piques students' interest and provides an added element of fun to the learning. " - Tillywig Brain Child Award Review,
"This entire book focuses on training a student to think past historical dates and names and to really understand the movements, history, and people who shaped the United States. The information is not too in-depth that it overloads a student's mind, nor is it too little that it skims the surface of our American history." - Meredith, TX
"As a homeschooler, I have always found it difficult to find history curriculum that fit my teaching style and method. In U.S. History Detective there are maps, timelines, and pictures throughout the book give the reader visual understanding. Each lesson includes two or three pages of reading, followed by fill in the blank, multiple choice, and written response questions. For the multiple choice questions, the student is asked to give the sentence in the reading that best supports the answer given. Students must draw inferences and conclusions based on their evaluation of the evidence. They must sort through what is fact verses opinion. By drawing on information in each reading, students will then use evidence to support conclusions in their short essay writing. I would highly recommend this book to fellow homeschoolers and educators. Not only will your child learn history but they will develop great critical thinking skills in the process. Anytime you can 'kill two birds with one stone', that is a plus in my book. The lessons are well written and chock-full of historical information without fluff. If you have been searching for a comprehensive history curriculum, look no further." - Jennifer, TX