All American History Vol. II: Lessons 1-4

All American History Vol. II, Lessons 1-4 | @brightideasteam

“I never knew the Civil War was so interesting!”

That’s exactly what my ninth-grade daughter, Kaylee, said to me recently. She is using All American History Vol. II this year and has been completely captivated with her study of the Civil War, slavery, and the Underground Railroad.

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All American History Vol. II: Lessons 1-4

The first four lessons of All American History Vol. II cover the events leading up to the North/South conflict and continue through the second year of the Civil War.

Lesson 1 – Prelude to the Civil War

The first lesson covers topics that led up to the Civil War, such as the Missouri Compromise and the Dred Scott case.

All American History includes mapwork

Lesson 2 – The Civil War Begins

The second lesson discusses the beginning of the Civil War, as well as famous abolitionists such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglass.

All American History activity sheet

Lesson 3 – First Year of the Civil War

The third lesson covers the Union and Confederate leaders and the battles of the first year of the Civil War.

All American History student activity sheet

Lesson 4 – Second Year of the Civil War

The fourth lesson discusses the battles of the second year of the Civil War and Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation.

Mapping Civil War battles with All American History

Supplemental Reading

As I’ve mentioned before, Kaylee is definitely a “hands-off” learner. She is an avid bookworm who prefers to read for hours rather than dig into a creative project.

To enhance her understanding of the Civil War era, Kaylee read six (yes, six!) books while working through the first four lessons of All American History.

Harriet Tubman Freedombound

Harriet Tubman: Freedombound (Heroes of History) – This book is an extremely well-written biography of Harriet Tubman, the “Moses” of the Underground Railroad. Kaylee would often slip over to my room late at night to let me know what she had just read about Harriet’s life.

Candle in the Darkness

Candle in the Darkness (Refiner’s Fire Book #1) – The fictional Refiner’s Fire series is a compelling and historically accurate account of the Civil War era. This first book shares the perspective of Caroline Fletcher, daughter of a wealthy Richmond, VA, slave-holding family. FREE for Kindle!

Fire by Night

Fire by Night (Refiner’s Fire Book #2) – The second book of the Refiner’s Fire series tells the story of two Northern women,  one a wealthy, pampered young woman and the other a dirt-poor farmer’s daughter who decides to join the army disguised as a man.

A Light to My Path

A Light to My Path (Refiner’s Fire Book #3) – The final book in the Refiner’s Fire series focuses on the lives and struggles of two slaves, Anna and Grady.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself – This book is an amazingly eloquent tale of the author’s life as a slave girl in the South. Kaylee was enthralled by the real-life story of an actual slave! FREE for Kindle!

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth: American Abolitionist (Heroes of the Faith) – Have you ever wondered how Sojourner Truth got her name? Kaylee did, so we decided to read this book. Read it and find the answer for yourself!


Kaylee is keeping an American history timeline notebook to go along with her study of All American History. The AAH Teacher’s Guide contains a list of people and events to add to a timeline.

If you are using the History Through the Ages timeline figures, you can also find more figures to go along with this time period.

Learn more about starting a timeline notebook:

Must Have Supplies for Timeline Notebooks

Writing Assignments

Kaylee completed several creative writing assignments during lessons 1-4:

  • One-page papers on Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth
  • Letter written from the perspective of Caroline Fletcher (main character in Candle in the Darkness)

I thought the letter from “Caroline” was especially realistic:

Dear Mary,

As I sit here and write this letter to you, I can hear the booming of cannons and the roar of gunfire as the war grinds on. Father estimates they are fighting only about five miles away right now.

Speaking of Father, he told me just last night that he was going to leave to be a blockade runner for the Confederates. He’s worried about me staying here with only the slaves, but I know I will be in perfect hands. I’m much more worried about him. I’m just certain he’s going to be killed.

I still get letters every week from Charles, my fiancé, but I’m also terrified for his safety. He is fighting against the North, which means he’s also fighting against freedom of slaves, and that bothers me a little.

In closing, I’m going to tell you a secret. I’m a traitor. I helped my cousin, who is fighting for the North, escape prison. He and about a hundred others escaped late last night. My fiancé has no clue about it, and I’d like to keep it that way. Please keep writing.

Your friend,

Caroline Fletcher

Not familiar with All American History? Read my detailed review and get a quick look at how we use All American History in our homeschool.

Have a question about All American History? Please ask in the comments below!

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  1. Blessings! says:

    I have been enjoying your reviews of the things you are using with your daughter. I am not sure what our homeschool days will look like in the comming years, but I am certain we are to homeschool now so I keep an eye on what others are doing not only with their young learners, but also in the comming years so I am not at a loss for ideas if we are able to keep going through high school. *smile* Have a great day and thanks again for sharing so many books. Have a wonderful day. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

    1. Judy Hoch says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re finding some things that help you along. 🙂

  2. Magie Clyde says:

    Dear Judy,
    My daughter, Maria Lawrence, showed me your blog today-how very nice! You are doing a great job, and your blog looks so nice!
    I am always thrilled to find another holiness person blogging!
    I raised 5 children, and homeschooled some of them for a few years…those days are past now…
    I have seen you at Stoneboro, but have never met you personally-maybe next year!
    Blessings on you and your beautiful family!

    1. Judy Hoch says:

      Oh, I know who you are! 🙂 Of course I had to go visit your blog, and I could have sat and read all day. I wanted to comment on so many posts, but time and energy are in short supply these days (we are expecting Baby #8).

      You do such a great job with your pictures–something I need to improve on! I’m not sure I have the ability, though; I may just let my daughter do my photography!

      My 5yo calls Maria “that lady that says she wants to eat me up.” She’s always teasing him at Camp, and he whistles at her sometimes. 🙂

      I tried to subscribe to your blog, but it says that email subscriptions are disabled. So I’ll keep popping in now and then–it’s so fun to see familiar faces!