Teaching History To Preschool Aged Children

American history is rich with amazing stories and lessons that resonate today. From the American Revolution to the civil rights movement, we have so much to learn. That being said, these lessons can be difficult to present to younger students in an age appropriate way. Today, as we celebrate the life and history of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., how can we honor a great life without introducing topics and themes that are far too advanced for our students. Like to many things, teaching history to preschool aged children can be tackled with a book.  Here are some books for various age groups that can help teach a powerful lesson about a powerful man.

Teaching History To Preschool Aged Children

The Story Of Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Ray MooreBook cover, the story of martin luther king jr. teaching preschool children about history

This board book offers an approachable story for even the youngest readers. This simple story is matched with beautiful watercolor illustrations that help bring the civil rights leader’s story to life. It focuses on the basics of Dr. King, showing how he excelled in school, became a minister, and worked to promote equality. Recommended for students ages 2-5, it offers an easy way to teach young children about an important figure in history.

My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins

Written by the niece of the civil rights leader, Angela Farris Watkins offers a personal look at Martin Luther King Jr. Her story offers rare insights into the man and his life at home, including many special family moments. When teaching history to preschool aged children, humanizing historical figures can offer powerful lessons for children; helping them relate to the people behind historical events. This book is a powerful and yet sweet way to teach the story of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara

Sometimes it can be challenging to explain the difference between the historical figure and the national holiday that was commemorated on their behalf. This book works to teach that very lesson. While it does not go into great depth on the man himself, this story works to explain why King’s philosophies helped shift a nation and create a day in his honor.  This book is geared toward the Pre-K age range, ages 4-6.

Martin’s Dream by Jane Kurtz

This ready-to-read book offers brightly colored illustrations with a simple to read message. It follows the march to Washington and Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream” speech. Tackling such a powerful moment in our history in a way the young children can understand, this book uses rhyming to try to make the material more approachable from the perspective of young students.

All of these books offer a powerful introduction in teaching history to preschool aged children. Reading is such a vital tool in our classrooms, to help all of our students develop a life long love of learning. Perhaps these books can help kick start future historians, politicians, and spiritual leaders; even in the youngest of readers.

What books are your favorites for teaching young students about history? We would love to hear your recommendations. Share them with us on our Facebook page!