Historical fiction book reports middle school

Then I have students organize the symbols into a pictorial time line. The book encompasses the Lewis family's joys and challenges, beginning with the first slave boat that landed on the island. Teaching Strategy: It's fun for students to compose a five-generation newspaper. I divide the class into five groups, assign each group a generation, and cut a piece of notebook paper lengthwise for each student.

Each student writes an article on his or her strip representing experiences and points of view of the generation. Kids use black felt-tip pens to write their final drafts, I tape the articles together, and we photocopy the newspaper.

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Less than obvious is what's historically accurate and what isn't. Our students are faced with the same dilemma when we teach with historical fiction. How can we help them differentiate between make-believe and history, and recognize the interpretive nature of historical reporting? Here's what I do:. As students begin to understand fiction and nonfiction, introduce the genre of historical fiction which includes examples of both.

Historical fiction book reports middle school

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Historical fiction book reports middle school

The Teacher Store Cart. Checkout Now. Grades PreK—K , 1—2 , 3—5 , 6—8 , 9— Although I sometimes begin units with chapter books, more often I start with picture books because they're engaging and full of information. Before I read aloud, we make a class list of what students already know about the topic, and then I say: "When I finish reading, I'd like each of you to ask a question related to the story.

The only rule is, no question can be asked twice. Some kids come to class with a deep background knowledge to draw upon, while others have just shallow reservoirs. Reading historical fiction promotes academic equity because comparing books from one unit to the next provides kids with equal opportunities to develop historical analogies. I ask, "How is the story we read for this unit similar to and different from the one we read last month? Picture books today provide visual and contextual clues to how people lived, what their speech was like, how they dressed, and so on.

It puts people back into history. Social studies texts are often devoted to coverage rather than depth. Children have difficulty converting these cryptic descriptions and snapshots into complex individuals who often had difficult choices to make, so myths and stereotypes flourish. Good historical fiction presents individuals as they are, neither all good nor all bad. It presents the complexity of issues. If you were to draw a topographical map of an issue, there would be hills and valleys, because most issues are multifaceted. Yet traditionally, historical issues have been presented to children as flat, one-dimensional, or single-sided.

Historical fiction restores the landscape of history, warts and all, so children can discover that dilemmas are age-old. My kids often make lists of the costs and benefits of historical decisions. They also write to second infomercials for each side. It promotes multiple perspectives. It's important for students to share their perspectives, while respecting the opinions of others. Historical fiction introduces children to characters who have different points of view and offers examples of how people deal differently with problems. It also informs students about the interpretive nature of history, showing how authors and illustrators deal with an issue in different ways.

It connects social studies learning to the rest of our school day. Historical fiction, while enhancing understanding of the past, can help you integrate social studies across the curriculum. Tips for Choosing Good Historical Fiction There's an abundance of historical fiction in libraries, catalogs, and bookstores.

Criteria The historical fiction you choose should: present a well-told story that doesn't conflict with historical records, portray characters realistically, present authentic settings, artfully fold in historical facts, provide accurate information through illustrations, and avoid stereotypes and myths. This is the most reliable list I've found.

Careful attention is paid to authenticity and historical accuracy. Social Studies and the Young Learner , a quarterly magazine published by NCSS, features a regular column on books appropriate for elementary social studies and suggestions for use. Fifteen Fabulous Historical Fiction Books It's a challenge to select titles that are authentic, have a fresh slant, represent diverse groups, are easily readable, are of high literary quality, and are enriched with illustrations.

Intermediate Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco Philomel ; 48 pages Two young Union boys from very different backgrounds are caught up in the travesties of war in Confederate territory. Is Pocahontas Real? Here's what I do: Raise students' awareness. I alert kids that historical fiction and written accounts of history are different genres.

I tell them: As you are reading throughout the year, see if you can find differences between these two kinds of books. Bring in resource people. Invite experts into your classroom so kids have an opportunity to discuss their observations and explore questions. Remember, an expert can be a grandmother who was interned, an uncle who has traveled extensively, or a local lawyer who can tell your kids how trials really work.

Integrate skills across the disciplines. Investigate sources. When I read a book aloud to my class, I model how to examine the sources of information used by the author and illustrator. Author's notes are particularly valuable. When kids read independently, we frequently conference about the sources used. It's also critical to read more than one kind of resource so students have the opportunity to discover multiple perspectives. Facilitate access to resources. To aid in student inquiry, I enlist the help of our public librarians who make an "all call" on books throughout the county.

Given a couple of weeks notice, they frequently gather 30 to 40 books that I can keep for up to three weeks. In three years of using this resource, we haven't lost a book yet! Observe illustrations. When possible, find photographs to compare with illustrations. Consult primary documents.

I photocopy primary documents and we analyze them for reliability. We develop questions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of various sources, and identify possible biases and inaccuracies. We also talk about what distinguishes primary documents written by the actual person from secondary accounts written by a historian interpreting events from historical fiction written by an author dramatizing the historian's interpretation. Develop criteria. Help students create their own criteria for evaluating informational books and historical fiction.

Also have students identify and compare specific characteristics. Lesson 5: What is Historical Fiction? Read Free For 30 Days. Much more than documents.

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