Tuesday, July 1, 2014

America the Beautiful Book Chat and a Freebie

In 1893, an English professor named Katharine Lee Bates was traveling westward by train. She visited various sights on her journey. From the pinnacle of Pike's Peak, the words to a poem began to take shape in her mind. When she returned to her hotel room, she penned the text for "America the Beautiful". Now, more than 100 years later, her great-great-grandnephew has illustrated her lyrics in a wondrous book.

While I adore the lyrics and have sung this song since childhood, the illustrations absolutely steal the show. Chris Gall has woven American history into the book in a beautiful manner. Each page features an important event in history or a trait of America. He included an "About the Artwork" page in the back of the book that explains the historical significance of each page. These are two of my favorite pages from the book. 
The last page's illustration shows the events of May 10, 1869 when the Transcontinental Railroad was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah.

The line, "Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life" includes an illustration of the NY firefighters on September 11, 2001. 

This YouTube video is also another great way to incorporate "America the Beautiful". The lyrics are read to a montage of some spectacular American images.

Again, what's a book chat without a freebie? This little opinion writing organizer has the main idea in the middle and four supporting details. Click {HERE} or on the image to grab your copy. Make sure to stop by Deanna Jump's book chat linky party for more great recommendations. Have a blessed fourth of July, y'all!


  1. I love the book, the video, and the freebie! My family just got back from visiting Mount Rushmore!

  2. Thanks so much, Jennifer! I have never seen Mount Rushmore in person. I am sure that it is quite impressive!