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  1. #1
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    Default Brushing up on US History - books?

    So...Apparently I'm taking the Praxis II for Middle Grades Social Studies in November. I did a practice exam and did quite well, but definitely need to brush up on my US History. I took AP US in High School and remember some of it, so I'm not completely clueless, but it was awhile ago. I have Government and Civics covered, so am mainly focusing on the history. Anyone have any good book suggestions to achieve this goal?
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2009
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    The Left Coast
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    3,318

    Default

    One called Don't Know Much About History helped me a ton when I was taking the ACT exams ten years after high school. It hits a lot of the bases.

    Middle grades would be world history and US history, right?

    Also, pick up a workbook for AP US History. That should help you review.

    Then go get your head examined for wanting to teach middle school.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,338

    Default

    A People's History of the United States (Zinn) is a classic and good overall picture. It is readable and interesting too, which makes it even better.



  4. #4
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
    One called Don't Know Much About History helped me a ton when I was taking the ACT exams ten years after high school. It hits a lot of the bases.

    Middle grades would be world history and US history, right?

    Also, pick up a workbook for AP US History. That should help you review.

    Then go get your head examined for wanting to teach middle school.

    Yes, but I'm ok with World History....I got most of those right, whereas I missed quite a few US History questions, whoooops.

    I will try your rec, thanks, and will also dig out old AP books. Have probably since been resold/gifted, but you never know.

    And yes, I know, I know, I'm probably crazy. BUT the middle grades ages are the ones I've enjoyed teaching/working with at summer camps/babysitting/etc.

    Fordtraktor - THANKS! We used those at school, and I had forgotten. I actually got very annoyed with my mother when I found out she'd let my sister sell them a few years ago....Ha. Typical.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default If you only read ONE history book . . .

    If you only EVER read one book on U.S. history post-secondary school or college, make it this one:

    David Hackett Fischer's ALBION'S SEED: Four British Folkways in America, Oxford University Press, 1989.
    ISBN 0-19-506905-6

    This is the stuff they DIDN'T teach us in school. The origins of our distinctive "American" core beliefs, thought patterns, knee-jerk reactions and founding principles. Turns out a lot of our red state/blue state differences today owe far more to the outlooks of 4 disparate groups of proto-American British immigrants than they do to practically anything that's happened since.

    This book is breathtakingly accurate and for the first time I really feel I understand the culture I'm living in and how it got that way. It is like a fish becoming aware that it swims in water--THAT important to ground one's understanding.

    At 902 pages you need an attention span, but believe me, what you learn there just may hold your attention long after the book is finished--and you'll be able to read between the lines of all the political rhetoric you hear this fall. "News you can use" that's 400 years old and counting . . .

    FASCINATING and highly recommended!



  6. #6
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    May. 24, 2007
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    Lubbock, TX
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    Default

    I'm going to check out Albion's seed--but I'll second Don't Know Much about History--I listened to it as a book on tape, and really enjoyed it.
    --Becky in TX
    Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
    She who throws dirt is losing ground.



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