History Through Literature

Tuesdays 12-1pm, starting September 15, 2015

Ages 11-14

Leader: Heddi Craft

Activity Rating: Mellow


Each month we will read a different fictional novel from the period between 1720 and the present.  We will learn about the history of that time and location, share our own research, and discuss the book.  Please see the schedule below for details.

Each book will be it's own independent unit, so you can begin the class with any novel. Parents should purchase or borrow their own copy of the book. Books will not be provided as part of the class. Students do not need to begin reading the story until after the first class for that book. Our discussion of the book itself will be saved until the last week so that all students have time to complete the novel. We'll work to avoid "spoilers" as we study the history found in the novel, but occasionally a detail may be revealed.

Students will select an area of interest related to each book to study in more depth. Areas of research could be cultural (food, clothing, lifestyle, education, work) or historical (specific people, places, or events). Students will work on independent research at home for about two weeks then present their findings in class. Presentations can be in many forms including short talks, hands on presentations, Power Point, performances, or completed projects. For instance, students might build a model of a pyramid and explain it, present a report on the emperors of Rome, or cook a meal to share that includes foods the Mayans ate.

Skills needed:  participate and stay focused in a discussion for at least 30 minutes, perform research at home with parental assistance, present in class independently.

The Rogues by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris/ Highland Clearances approx. 1720
Sept. 15-- Introduction to the book and to Scotland and England
Sept. 22-- Class projects and discussions, select research topics
Sept. 29--Class projects and discussions    
Oct. 6-- Students present research on topic of interest
Oct. 13-- Discussion of book

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper/ Slavery in the American Colonies 1738
Oct. 20-- Introduction to the book and to ancient Rome and Celtic Britian, select research topics
Oct. 27-- Class projects and discussions
Nov. 3-- Students present research on topic of interest
Nov. 10-- No class
Nov. 17-- Discussion of book

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson/ Lowell Mills 1843
Nov. 24-- Introduction to the book and to the Industrial Revolution, select research topics
Dec. 1-- Class projects and discussions
Dec. 8-- Students present research on topic of interest
Dec. 15-- Discussion of book

Dragon's Gate by Laurence Yep/ Building of the Transcontinental Railroad 1865
Jan. 5-- Introduction to the book and to Chinese immigration
Jan. 12-- Class projects and discussions, select research topics
Jan. 19-- Class projects and discussions
Jan. 26-- Students present research on topic of interest
Feb. 2-- Discussion of book

 Additional books for Feb.-May to be announced.

Please see this web site for more detailed weekly information.
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