Msgr Sal Pilato superintendent of high schools Archdiocese of Los AngelesMonsignor Sal Pilato, Superintendent of High Schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, recommends high school educators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles use Catholic Textbook Project’s newest textbook, Lands of Hope and Promise: The History of North America, for American history courses:

“As a former secondary history teacher and principal,” says Monsignor Sal Pilato, “I can say that these are excellent textbooks that really fill an important gap in our efforts to teach the full story of history, the honest story which includes the Church’s role in the formation and growth of our country and civilization. I encourage you to look at them carefully and consider them for your American history courses.”

The new Lands of Hope and Promise textbook presents the (more…)

Avoiding Supplement Overload

One of the guiding philosophies of the Catholic Textbook Project has been “less is more.” Unlike other publishers, we do not burden teachers with supplement upon supplement and goody bags filled with distracting resources – mainly because we don’t need to. Our well-written books do most of the work, by drawing students into the exciting story of history. Our teacher’s manuals and workbooks only help complete the work the textbooks have begun.

Light to the Nations, Part II: The Making of the Modern World (Teacher's Manual)The CTP Teacher’s Manual for each textbook features:

  • a complete timeline of the events covered in the book
  • a scope and sequence for each chapter
  • a discussion of the goals for each chapter
  • a listing of the basic facts students should take from each chapter, with a brief review of each fact
  • a listing of the key terms presented in each chapter with their definitions
  • answer keys for end-of-chapter review questions as well as for quizzes and tests
  • suggestions for carrying out end-of-chapter activities
  • a list of resources for further reading
One educator summed up the quality of our teacher’s manuals: “I have always been impressed with your books, but I am overwhelmed by the Teacher’s Manuals. They are the best I have ever seen!”
Light to the Nations, Part I: Development of Christian Civilization (Student Workbook)We also have workbooks for each of our textbooks which provide a variety of exercises and activities to enhance the learning experience and solidify subject retention. These excellent resources were designed by writer and veteran educator, Ana Braga-Henebry. The workbooks are offered in CD format to help schools and families save on cost (no yearly purchase of new workbooks) and to allow teachers to pick the exercises most useful for their class.  Now we’ve also added downloadable eBook editions in either PDF or ePub versions. 
In addition to our efforts, the homeschooling curricula provider, Catholic Heritage Curricula, has written daily lesson plans for two of CTP’s history textbooks: Sea to Shining Sea and All Ye Lands.
Sea to Shining Sea Lesson Plans
All Ye Lands Lesson Plans
The 36-week lesson plans provides a daily schedule for each textbook and its accompanying teacher’s manual with coordinating reading assignments, review, optional enrichment, and abundant hands-on activities. To find out more or purchase, visit the CHC website.

Our Books & the Common Core

e are sometimes asked how our history textbook series matches up to the Common Core Standards. This is an important question, both for those schools who have aligned their curriculum to the Common Core and those that haven’t. Both groups want to know if the Catholic Textbook Project is Common Core friendly, or not.

The simple answer is this: CTP’s textbooks were not written with the Common Core Initiative in mind, nor do we plan to alter our books to conform to the standards. But, while those who have opted out of the Common Core will find that our books follow the best of traditional pedagogy, those adopting the Common Core will discover that our books will help them uniquely fulfill the Common Core standards both in history/socials studies and English language arts — and that because we have remained faithful to classical modes of learning.
In April 2012, the Common Core Standards Initiative published its Revised Publishers’ Criteria for the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy, Grades 3-12. The purpose of these criteria is “to guide publishers and curriculum developers as they work to ensure alignment with the standards in English language arts (ELA) and literacy for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects.”
How do Catholic Textbook Project’s social studies texts fulfill these criteria?
What the Common Core Standards Do

– The Common Core Standards for social studies are not content but classroom standards.

 The Common Core Standards do not impose the inclusion or exclusion of events and subject matter.
– The Common Core Standards establish criteria governing text complexity and  literary quality, as well as  the relationship of questions and tasks to the text, the building of vocabulary, and the way students are trained to the tasks of writing and research.
How Our Textbooks Uniquely Fulfill Common Core Goals
 In text complexity our textbooks fall within or slightly above the Lexile ranges called for by Common Core reading standards.

  Our texts fulfill the Common Core goal that students read increasingly complex texts.”
 Our texts are challenging; they call on students to stretch their minds and imaginations to attain a greater proficiency in the reading and interpretation of texts.
 The literary character of our books helps students learn to discern central ideas from those that are more incidental.

 Moreover, our texts, written in a rich and colorful narrative style, draw students into the story of history. Students advance in reading competence and build their vocabulary through the sheer pleasure of reading.
 Our teacher manuals offer guidelines to help instructors guide students in discerning the central ideas and facts in the text.

 Our end-of-chapter exercises fulfill the Common Core requirements that a “significant percentage of tasks and questions [be] text dependent” and that “high-quality text-dependent questions … move beyond what is directly stated to require students to make nontrivial inferences based on evidence in the text.”

To see for yourself how our books can enhance learning in the classroom, please click here to view sample chapters of our books. The samples not only allow you to familiarize yourself with our engaging writing style, but give you the opportunity to experience the beauty of our books’ layout — complete with full-color reproductions of great works of art and custom maps. 

No “Windy and Barren” History

About half the history now taught in schools and colleges is made windy and barren by the narrow notion of leaving out the theological theories… Historians seem to have completely forgotten two facts — first, that men act from ideas; and second, that it might, therefore, be as well to discover which ideas. G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton is right. So much of historiography today seeks to explain why human beings have acted as they have by appealing to materialistic causes: economics, the natural environment, greed for power, even genetics.
Do these factors influence history? Of course they do.
But do they explain the whole of history? No.
For instFile:Lucas kranakh.jpgance, the princes of Germany who propelled the Lutheran Reformation to success were indeed motivated by economic considerations (to possess Church lands) and political ambition (to wrest more power from the Holy Roman emperor) — but the Reformation cannot be explained merely by greed and power mongering. It was an idea, a theological idea, that goaded Martin Luther and inspired his followers to defy Church and state in the name of the Gospel.
Nor does the fact that greed and ambition played a part in the Catholic response to “reform” explain the zeal of its chief protagonists — men such as Pope Pius V, Charles Borromeo, and Peter Canisius. Such men contended for an idea – that of the Catholic Church, which, as they knew, St. Paul had called the “pillar and foundation of the truth.”
The Catholic faith says that man is more than a mere animal, that he acts for the sake of ideas and ideals, not simply desire. History is driven by what human beings think is the highest good — and this ultimately has to do with what they think about God. In this way, history is bound up with theological ideas.
This is the fuller history our Catholic Textbook Project history series tells. We do not leave out religion, for that would be to distort what man is and how and why he acts and has acted on the world’s stage. We are convinced that students need to learn the whole of history – and religion is a central aspect of that history.

A New Job Requirement

Applicants will be expected to teach from

Regina Coeli Academy is seeking a 5th-8th Grade English and History Teacher for the 2012-2013 academic year, who would also serve as the 7th-8th grade homeroom and religion teacher. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in history, literature, liberal arts, or a related field with a focus on the Western Classical Tradition. Applicants will be expected to teach from texts within the classical curriculum, including Voyages (English), Catholic Schools Textbook Project (history), and Faith and Life (religion). In addition, reading of classic literature, memorizing of poetry and the catechism, and integrating subjects are key components of our curriculum. All applicants must be practicing Catholics and willing to sign an oath of fidelity to all of the magisterial teachings of the Church. Salary is commensurate with teaching experience and relevant degrees. In addition to your resume, please send to Board President Mrs. Barbara Henkels a cover letter and bio, 2 professional reference names, and 1 priest reference name, along with their contact information.

Read more:

Follow Catholic Textbooks via Email