Our Star-Spangled Story

Our Star-Spangled Story

Our Star-Spangled Story is a one-year American history and literature course designed for students in first, second, third, or fourth grade. It combines the flexibility and richness of a unit study with the simplicity of a textbook-based approach to history. In addition to narrative lessons about children and families in American history, students can learn through songs, dances, and hands-on activities.

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Quick Overview

Our Star-Spangled Story has a total of 90 lessons for use over one school year (30 units of 3 lessons each). All of the instructions for how to use the material are included in Part 1 and Part 2 so you do not need a separate Teacher's Manual. The daily instructions are very easy to follow.

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. These 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, or doing a hands-on activity. You can pick the activities that work best for your family.

Authors Charlene Notgrass and Mary Evelyn McCurdy Explain the Curriculum

The Books Used

The Our Star-Spangled Story Curriculum Package includes all six books listed below, enough for one child to complete the curriculum. If you are using the curriculum with more than one child, you can purchase additional Student Workbooks.

  • Our Star-Spangled Story Part 1
    This book has 45 lessons beginning with life in America before Europeans came and continuing through the late 1800s.

  • Our Star-Spangled Story Part 2
    This book has 45 lessons that go from the late 1800s through modern times.

  • 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 a link to download or stream audio recordings.

  • A Star-Spangled Timeline
    This beautiful, engaging reference is the perfect way to reinforce and review key people and events from the lessons.

  • 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.)

  • 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 and discussion questions for the literature titles incorporated in Our Star-Spangled Story.


About the Authors

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 LiteratureWe recommend eight works of literature to read along with the lessons in Our Star-Spangled Story. Each book gives your child a richer perspective on a certain time period. The student has 3-5 weeks to read each book. The first four books go with Part 1, and the next four books go 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) 


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.

Listen to "Ho Ho Watanay"

Listen to "Skip to My Lou"

Listen to "The First Baby In Camp"


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)


Curriculum PackageCurriculum Package

The Curriculum Package includes Our Star-Spangled Story Part 1 and Part 2, Rhythms and Rhymes, Timeline, Student Workbook and Answer Key. This package gives you all of the lessons and assignments you need to complete the course. You also get access to stream or download the audio recordings for Rhythms and Rhymes.

The Student Workbook is the only consumable book in this curriculum. The Curriculum Package comes with one copy, and you may purchase additional copies for other children.

We also assign eight historical novels to read along with the lessons. You may purchase those individually or in a package.

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Sample Lessons


Literature PackageLiterature Package

The Literature Package includes the eight historical novels assigned throughout the lessons.

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The bundle includes both the Curriculum Package and the Literature Package. You'll have everything you need for a great year of learning history!

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Need an extra Student Workbook or a literature title?

Purchase Individual Books

Need an assignment checklist or other bonus downloads?

Bonus Downloads

Ready to purchase?

Order by phone (1-800-211-8793) or use the product links below to order online. If you have any questions about choosing the right options for your child, you can call, text, or email us.

We offer a full money-back guarantee on all Notgrass History products. We want you to be delighted with your purchase.

4 products
Our Star-Spangled Story Curriculum Package
Our Star-Spangled Story Literature Package
Discount price $50.00 Regular price $58.88 Save $8.88
Our Star-Spangled Story Bundle
My Star-Spangled Student Workbook
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