Prehistoric People
and Times

When teaching ancient world history, it's helpful to at least briefly start the year with prehistoric people and times--starting right from the beginning!  But...with so much required curriculum to cover across the subjects, how can you fit it in?  In our opinion, you don't need a big unit... just a few books to give kids historical context.

Children are naturally curious about 'cavemen' and need to understand how they fit into the 'big picture' history of our planet. In fact, I remember being confused as a kid over whether cavemen lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. Were the cartoons right or wrong? :)  If you're teaching ancient world history and can spare a few read-alouds to teach about prehistoric people and times, the following children's books can help bring this very dramatic, very different time period to life.

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Best Kids Books on
Prehistoric People & Times

Mammoths on the Move
(intro to woolly mammoths)
by Lisa Wheeler
Preschool - 2nd grade

First Painter
(story about a prehistoric cave
  by Kathryn Lasky
2nd grade - 5th grade

One Small Blue Bead
(story set among prehistoric people)
by Byrd Baylor
Kindergarten - 2nd grade

Bodies from the Ice
Melting Glaciers and the Recovery
of the Past by James M. Deem
5th grade - 8th grade

The First Drawing
by Mordicai Gerstein
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

Mammoths and Mastodons
Titans of the Ice Age
by Cheryl Bardoe

5th grade - 7th grade

Wills Mammoth
by Rafe Martin
preschool - 2nd grade

by James Mayhew
preschool - 2nd grade

Maroo of the Winter Caves
(survival story set in the Ice Age)
by Ann Turnbull
3rd grade - 5th grade

Your Mother was a Neanderthal
The Time Warp Trio
by Jon Scieszka
3rd grade - 5th grade

Little Grunt and the Big Egg
A Prehistoric Fairy Tale
by Tomie de Paola
preschool - 2nd grade

There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky
by Teri Sloat
Kindergarten - 3rd grade

Sunset of the Sabertooth
Magic Tree House
by Mary Pope Osborne
1st grade - 3rd grade

Exploring the Ice Age
(a guided tour thru the Ice Age)
by Margaret Cooper
5th grade - 8th grade

The Cave Painter of Lascaux
by Roberta Angeletti
1st grade - 3rd grade

The Secret Cave
Discovering Lascaux
by Emily Arnold McCully
1st grade - 4th grade

In the Beginning
Creation Stories from
Around the World

by Virginia Hamilton

6th grade & Up

Lucy Long Ago
Discovering the Mystery of
Where We Came From

by Catherine Thimmesh

5th grade - 10th grade

Boy of the Painted Cave
(young boy becomes cave painter)
by Justin Denzel
4th grade - 8th grade

A Is for AARRGH!
by William J. Brooke
4th grade - 7th grade

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness
by Michelle Paver
5th grade - 9th grade

The Kin series
by Peter Dickinson

Also consider You Wouldn't Want to Be a Mammoth Hunter.  We haven't had a chance to review it yet, but that series is often pretty popular with kids.

Where to now?

Now that you've seen this great book, what would you like to see now?  Please note that as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Enjoy the books!

Betsy, Cindy, and Virginia (the teachers/sisters behind this website)

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