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Introducing Living History Threads

an alternative history approach

What is Living History Threads?

Living History Threads is a comprehensive history and geography curriculum for grades one through four. The four levels are designed to serve both single-grade and multi-grade classrooms. The studies of history and geography are built around a set of recognized events, people, and places spanning time and space. These are the threads of history. These threads, the facts or grammar of history, are then woven together, interpreted, and analyzed creating the fabric of historical understanding. Living History Threads prepares lower elementary students for further historical weavings by introducing and instilling within students significant stories from the past.

Distinctive Characteristics:

  1. Living books and stories are the principal form of content used.
  2. Read-alouds are the primary means used to offer the content.
  3. Formative stories are emphasized alongside informative stories.
  4. Multiple strands of content—world history, American history, church history, Anabaptist history, local history, and geography—are developed in each level.
  5. Key content guides student learning by providing a finite body of essential knowledge for mastery.
  6. Maps and timelines provide a constant spatial and chronological context for the historical content.

Ten reasons to Consider Living History Threads

  1. Presents history in living color through dozens of interesting books and stories.
  2. Encourages elementary students to view history as an enjoyable and consequential subject.
  3. Integrates Anabaptist and church history from first grade, rather than waiting until junior high.
  4. Introduces students to Mennonite servants such as Felix Manz, Menno Simons, Dirk Willems, Christopher Dock, and Annie Funk.
  5. Teaches a rich history vocabulary – hieroglyphics, conquistador, cuneiform, feudalism – in preparation for the upper grades.
  6. Improves listening skills and comprehension.
  7. Enables students to recognize key people and places by using flash cards and pictures.
  8. Develops geographical awareness through the study of significant historical locations.
  9. Anchors the stories and characters of history in space and time by emphasizing maps and timelines.
  10. Promotes the development of students’ primary identity as members of God’s global kingdom.

From the Classroom:

“I loved seeing elementary students excited about heroes of the faith, and how the curriculum put our church history in a package they could understand.” – Martha

“I enjoy reading Living History stories to my students, and they love to hear them. Once I had to finish a read-aloud during story time. My students cheered at the change of plans. In their minds, this particular story outranked our story time book.” – Jessica

“All my students vote History as their favorite class–thanks to the Living History Threads curriculum. They love the stories! The history facts seem to be riveted in their memories better with this style of curriculum.” – Darlene

Detailed listing of materials:

Click on each photo to see a list of resources used in that level.

Shop Level 12 Resources

Shop Level 21 Resources

Shop Level 34 Resources

Shop Level 43 Resources

For more information:

We offer a detailed catalog that describes Living History Threads and lists all the required materials. However, the most up-to-date materials lists and pricing can always be found at the shopping links above. 

To request a free copy of the catalog, please contact us by email or by phone (877-222-4769).

We offer a rental program to homeschooling families. For more information about that program, please contact us by email or by phone (877-222-4769).

Living History Threads is published by Faith Builders Resource Group, a division of Faith Builders Educational Programs, Inc.