Free Resources for American History-Themed “Who Was” Books

Free Resources for the American-History Themed “Who Was” Books

Our nine-volume Who Was book set giveaway is over. I had a great time interacting with my readers about these books and look forward to being able to give away another set in the future. If you missed this giveaway, don’t worry! Scroll to the end of this post to see our current giveaway! 🙂

The good news is that the books are readily available at most libraries, so you can continue to use the following resources to complement your book studies. (You really don’t even need the books to use most of the linked websites!)

This is a three-part blog series, so feel free to check out Part 2 and Part 3 for more free resources. I recently updated the links in this series to clear out any dead links and to add some new educational goodies.

If you’re looking for resources for other Who Was books not featured here, scroll down to “Other Activities” in each of these posts to find resources that you can incorporate with many of the other books.

Who Was Davy Crockett?

Reading level and book specifics:

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Paperback: 112 pages

Davy Crockett was a frontiersman who served as a congressman for Tennesee.  He also fought in the Texas Revolution against the Mexican army and later died at the Battle of the Alamo.

Learn more about Davy Crockett:

Read more about Davy Crockett and look at an interesting photo gallery on Kiddle.

Read the Signature Biography, The Story of Davy Crockett, free online (e-mail registration is required and well worth it if your learners like to read older books)!  Another classic story option is Davy Crockett from the American Adventure Series.

Just for fun, listen to The Story of Davy Crockett from the vintage album by Disneyland Records.

Davy Crockett served in the US House of Representatives.  Use the Kids in the House website to find out the roles of a congressman.

Listen to the old-time radio show, The Cavalcade of America: Davy Crockett.

Many tall tales emerged about Davy Crockett, especially after his death.  Because of this, it has been hard for some to separate the stories about Davy Crockett the folk hero and Davy Crockett the person.  The source of many of the myths was the Davy Crockett Almanac. No one knows who published the Davy Crockett Almanac, but these publications serve as good examples of early American humor.  See one of the almanacs here.

Get free lesson plans and printables about The Alamo, where Davy Crockett is said to have died in battle.

Who Was Sacagawea?

Reading level and book specifics:

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Paperback: 112 pages

Sixteen-year-old Sacagawea made history when she made the remarkable journey with Lewis and Clark.

Learn more about Sacagawea:

Sacagawea was part of the Agai-Dika Shoshone Tribe (later re-named Lemhi-Shoshone by Mormons). See a sampling of Shoshone words.

Watch a short video about Sacagawea.

Use this detailed painting for a picture study.

Listen to the old-time radio show, The Cavalcade of America: Sacagawea.

Depending on where you read about Sacagawea, you may see different ways to spell her name. To learn more about the different origins of the various spellings, read this post from the Sacagawea Historical Society. Sacagawea with a “g” originated in the Lewis and Clark journals.

Sacagawea was the only woman in the Corps of Discovery, the team of explorers in Lewis and Clark’s Expedition. Watch a short video for a brief summary of the expedition.

Use the Sacagawea Statue handout to write a paragraph about the expedition from the perspective of Sacajawea (you’ll find the download link under the “Supplies” heading).

Learn more about the Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin.

Get a free Sacagawea Teacher’s Guide from Kids Discover (registration is required, but that is free as well). If you are on a computer, the free guide can be found on the sidebar.

Discover more about Sacagawea with this Encyclopedia Britannica entry.

Who Was Johnny Appleseed?

Reading level and book specifics:

Age Range: 8 – 12 years

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Paperback: 112 pages

Known for bringing apple trees to the midwest, Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman, got to see the country spread westward!

Learn more about John Chapman:

Read the story of John Chapman online. Then scroll to the bottom of the linked page to get some activities and printables.

For your younger learners, download a free literacy activity pack about Johnny Appleseed.

Chapman was a member of the Swedenborgian Church, which forbade tree grafting.  Because of this, most of the apples he planted were unpalatable. Reliably safe drinking water was rare in colonial America, and since most apples during this time were used to make cider rather than eaten, the fruit of Chapman’s labor was beneficial to settlers.  Cider, which was a mildly alcoholic beverage about half the strength of wine, was safer to drink and was even served to children. See how grafting is done to produce an edible apple.

Listen to the old-time radio show, The Cavalcade of America: The Gift of Johnny Appleseed.

Harper’s New Monthly Magazine endowed Chapman with national fame in 1871.  Click here to read the original story, Johnny Appleseed: A Pioneer Hero.

Other Activities

Host a Living Wax Museum (all links for the Living Wax Museum come from Penguin Publishing Group). This idea is designed for classroom use, but it easily can be adapted for home use.

With or without the museum you can use the fun activities to make the learning stick! Create your own word-search, make Who Was magazine covers, create biography cubes, and more with these free, interchangeable activities, also from Penguin Publishing Group.

Davy Crockett, Sacagawea, and Johnny Appleseed all had postage stamps made in their honor. Design your own postage stamp with one of the featured individuals.

Make a simple biography poster using watercolor paints.

Design a biography bottle doll and retell the story!

Create a lapbook for any of the books in this series.  Use these free templates to design your lapbook exactly the way you want it!  If you don’t want to design your own, you can use this simple biography lapbook template.


The “Who Was” book set giveaway has ended.  If you missed it, don’t worry!  Follow our Facebook page so you’ll know when we post our next giveaway. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Free Resources for American History-Themed “Who Was” Books

    1. Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you find some things here that you can use! 🙂

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