Our Star-Spangled Story

Complete Elementary U.S. History Curriculum

 Curriculum PackageAre you looking for a U.S. history curriculum for your elementary student that is complete and easy to use? Our Star-Spangled Story is a one-year course that is centered in God's Word and makes American history exciting for homeschooling students and parents.

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Who Can Use It

Authors Charlene Notgrass, Bethany Poore, and Mary Evelyn McCurdy designed the curriculum for students to use successfully in 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, or 4th grade. It combines the flexibility and richness of a literature-based unit study approach with the simplicity of a textbook-based approach.

The lessons guide your child chronologically through the history of the United States, highlighting key events, people, and places. With the lessons planned for you, you can enjoy learning history with your student with minimal preparation.

What's Included

The Curriculum Package includes everything you need for a successful study. The course is flexible, so you can choose the assignments and activities that work best for your child.

  • Two beautiful hardbound books feature narrative lessons with hundreds of colorful photographs and historic illustrations.
  • Another hardcover book features songs, poems, and dances that reveal what people were thinking and feeling in the past. It includes links to audio recordings of the songs and video demonstrations of the dances.
  • A timeline book reinforces and reviews key people and events from the lessons.
  • A student workbook offers two handwork sheets and one review page for each unit.

We suggest eight literature titles that coordinate with the lessons and enhance your student's understanding of each time period.

Watch our intro video and keep reading to learn how the curriculum works, see sample lessons, and read what parents are saying.

Quick Overview

Our Star-Spangled Story has 90 lessons for use during one school year (30 units of 3 lessons each). Each lesson has clear instructions on what to do each day.

Our Star-Spangled Story Part 1 and Part 2 are full-color, richly illustrated hardcover books that include the lessons to read and instructions for using the other components. You do not need a separate teacher's manual. You can choose the assignments you want your child to complete. For example, you might expect a 4th grader to do all of the suggested assignments while a 1st grader might only complete a few. The choice is yours.

If you prefer a video overview, watch the authors explain how the components work together as they walk you through a sample unit from the curriculum.

What's In the Curriculum Package

The Our Star-Spangled Story Curriculum Package includes these six books:

Our Star-Spangled Story Part 1

Our Star-Spangled Story Part 1

This book has 45 lessons to use in the first semester. It begins with life in America before Europeans came and continues through the late 1800s.

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Our Star-Spangled Story Part 2

Our Star-Spangled Story Part 2

This book has 45 lessons to use in the second semester. It covers American history from the late 1800s through the present.

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Star-Spangled Rhythms and Rhymes

Star-Spangled Rhythms and Rhymes

This is a collection of 60 songs, poems, and dances. Each selection goes along with a particular lesson in the curriculum. The book includes links to download or stream audio recordings and to watch video demonstrations of the dances.

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A Star-Spangled Timeline

A Star-Spangled Timeline

This beautiful, engaging reference is the perfect way to reinforce and review key people and events from the lessons.

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My Star-Spangled Student Workbook

My Star-Spangled Student Workbook

This book contains two handwork sheets and one review page for each unit. This is the only consumable book in this curriculum, and you can purchase additional copies if needed.

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Our Star-Spangled Story Answer Key and Literature Guide

Our Star-Spangled Story Answer Key and Literature Guide

This book for parents contains answers for the lesson review questions in the text and the Student Workbook activities. It also includes a guide to and discussion questions for the literature titles incorporated in Our Star-Spangled Story.

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Optional Resources

Our Star-Spangled Story Literature Package

Our Star-Spangled Story Literature Package

We recommend eight literature titles to read along with the history lessons. These books are available for purchase individually or as a package. Each book is assigned at a particular point in the course to enhance your student's understanding of that time period.


What the Lessons Are Like

All of the easy-to-follow instructions for how to use the material are included in Our Star-Spangled Story Part 1 and Part 2 so you do not need a separate teacher's manual.

Each weekly unit has three lessons. Students can read the lessons on their own, or you can read the lessons aloud. Each lesson is filled with full-color photographs, illustrations, and artwork. Reading one lesson will take 10-15 minutes.

At the end of each lesson is a list of suggested activities. The exact activities vary from day to day, but they include:

  • singing a song or learning a dance in Rhythms and Rhymes
  • looking at the Timeline book
  • completing a Student Workbook page
  • reading from one of the recommended literature titles
  • answering review questions
  • doing a hands-on activity

Each unit has one special family activity. These include crafts, art projects, recipes, and other multi-age activities. Allow extra time for history on the day you do the family activity, or enjoy it as a family night or weekend project.

See Sample Lessons


Watch authors Charlene Notgrass and Mary Evelyn McCurdy explain how the components of Our Star-Spangled Story work together as they walk you through a sample unit from the curriculum.

Our Star-Spangled Story Literature PackageWe recommend eight works of literature that complement the lessons in Our Star-Spangled Story. These books are not essential for understanding the lessons, but each one adds a valuable perspective on a different time period.

Your elementary student may be ready to read the books on his or her own, or you can use them as family read alouds. The curriculum allows 3-5 weeks to read each book. The first four books go along with Part 1 and the other four books with Part 2.

  • Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry (Units 1-4)
  • Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady (Units 5-9)
  • Freedom Crossing by Margaret Goff Clark (Units 10-12)
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Units 13-15)
  • Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates (Units 16-18)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary (Units 19-22)
  • The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill (Units 23-26)
  • Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass (Units 27-30)


Read sample lessons and see sample pages from the consumable books with these PDF files.

Table of Contents / Introduction

Part 1 - Unit 11

Part 2 - Unit 23

Rhythms and Rhymes


Student Workbook

Answer Key and Literature Guide

Audio Samples

These are sample audio recordings from Rhythms and Rhymes.

"Ho Ho Watanay" (a Haudenosaunee lullaby)

"Skip to My Lou" (a folk song and dance)

"The First Baby In Camp" (a poem about an incident during the California Gold Rush)


Open and Go

"I love that it is open and go and that it has great information that my kids enjoy listening to." (Tara H., Washington)

Alive and Exciting

"History is alive and exciting with Notgrass! I so appreciate the Christian worldview presented throughout. Easy to use, and full of ideas of exciting ways to learn about American history, it has been an answer to my prayers!" (Melody W., Montana)

Something the Kids Look Forward To

"This is our first year using Notgrass History, and I am so pleased with it! I love the literature books, the lessons are a good length and not over anyone's head, and the hands-on activities and crafts are fun and something the kids look forward to." (Tiffany S., Indiana)

Packed Full of Colorful Pictures and Art

"The textbooks read like a story and are packed full of colorful pictures and art! The bundle also came with a beautiful timeline book as well as songs and poems from the different eras. The student workbook offers short activities without demanding any real busy work. We have been truly blessed by this curriculum and I am excited to say that even my daughter (who is more of a math and science kind of girl) has really loved and enjoyed this year's history lessons." (Alyssa C., Texas)

Mary Evelyn McCurdy, Charlene Notgrass, and Bethany PooreAuthors Charlene Notgrass, Bethany Poore, and Mary Evelyn McCurdy are a mother and daughters team. They have collaborated on other Notgrass History resources, including America the Beautiful, From Adam to Us, and Uncle Sam and You.

Charlene and her husband Ray Notgrass homeschooled their children through a rich whole-family, whole-life learning lifestyle. They are a family of history lovers, excited to share real-life stories from history with students and their parents all over the country.

Bethany and Mary Evelyn are now on the homeschooling journey with their own children, sharing history and a learning lifestyle with the next generation.


Our Star-Spangled Story Purchase Options

Are you ready to experience all that Our Star-Spangled Story has to offer? Order today with confidence. If you are not satisfied for any reason, we offer a full money-back guarantee.

​Use the product links below to order online or call 1-800-211-8793. If you have any questions about choosing the right options for your child, please call, text, or email us.

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