Historical novel idea?

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by Sluggermel, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    I am a reading specialist and next year, our principal wants to try something new and combine ELA and Social Studies in 7th grade for the Consultant class. It will be the S.S. teacher, ELA teacher, Spec. Ed. teacher, and me involved. The purpose is to have Social Studies content based around ELA skills. I'm trying to think of a good novel to do with this combined class that is based on 7th grade S.S. curriculum (explorers, civil war, Native Americans, etc.) Does anything come to mind? Any suggestions would be great!
     
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  3. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2009

    There are tons of really good historical novels for middle schoolers. I would think a quick google search would give your multiple lists of great books. I would also suggest you contact your school librarian for help. Do you want your students to read the same book or could they choose a book over a historical time period they like?

    My high school World History students do a book report on any historical novel from a list I have created. It gives them the chance and the choice to read over topics in history they really like. My book report is a compare/contrast the real history with the history in the book. Our librarian pulls all the books from my list and puts the books in a special place for my students.
     
  4. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 23, 2009

    Red Badge of Courage comes immediately to mind.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2009

    My favorite (book and movie) , of course, is Gone with the Wind!!!!

    One of my friends always shows the Burning of Atlanta scene when she hits that part of the curriculum with the Juniors. The part where the camera pans out and you see nothing but wounded bodies really makes a point to the kids.
     
  6. crayonfan

    crayonfan Companion

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    Jun 26, 2009

    Day of Tears is an excellent book. The book itself is not a difficult read, so students at different reading levels will not have a problem reading it.

    The book is set up in a play format. All of my students love this book.
     
  7. Anne wmcosuvamu

    Anne wmcosuvamu Companion

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    Jun 26, 2009

    When I was about in middle school, I loved A Family Apart. It's about these kids from an Irish-immigrant family that are sent from NYC to the west (to Missouri!). I have no idea how historically accurate it is, but I adored the book when I was a kid.
     
  8. Cheyenne

    Cheyenne Companion

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    Jun 26, 2009

    Across Five Aprils is a wonderful book by Irene Hunt (?). It is the story of a boy in southern Illinois coming of age during the five Aprils of the Civil War. Growing up in one of the "border states", he watches as the war tears apart not only his country, but his community and his family.

    A Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulson is another great read about the Civil War, told through the eyes of a militiaman from Minnesota.
     
  9. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2009

    Ann Rinaldi has many great books about thet time period. One of my favorites is Numbering the Bones. It is told from the perspective of a slave girl who lives near a prison camp. Very good, and not your usual war novel.
     
  10. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2009

    These are all wonderful ideas! :)
     
  11. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2009

    A great book to read about the Civil War that I read with an 8th grade class is Night John. It is a pretty simple read but it is incredibly powerful and provides a pretty nice insight into slavery and slave life on a plantation.
     
  12. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Jul 7, 2009

    This makes me so excited, and it is entirely what I am dedicating my PhD research to! One thing I did that was really powerful was go to the public library and check out the more advanced pictures books about whatever topic we were teaching (for example, Native Americans). At the end of each class that students had 15 or 20 minutes to select a book and read independently. Students would share out information and contribute to later class discussion.

    My 5th graders LOVED this part of class.
     
  13. Cheyenne

    Cheyenne Companion

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    Jul 7, 2009

    That is a great idea...I am going to do that with my 5th graders. Thanks! :):)

    Another couple of great books:
    Pedro's Journal-story of a young boy who travels with Columbus. Tells the story from the perspective of the Native Americans.
    Blood on the River-story of the settling of Jamestown.
    A Journey to the New World-a Dear America book about the settling of Plymouth.

    In fact, the Dear America series is amazing. It covers so many historical events and the characters are so "real" that you are disappointed to find out otherwise at the end of the book! :)
     
  14. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    Jul 8, 2009

    You can't go wrong with Johnny Tremain. The only reason I wish I taught older kids is that I can't teach this book. I always recommend it to my advanced readers.
     
  15. Cheyenne

    Cheyenne Companion

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    Jul 8, 2009

    Another great Rev. War novel is My Brother Sam is Dead.
     
  16. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2009

    I looked into Johnny Tremain, but it looked quite lengthy to do in class. I'm thinking of 'The Fighting Ground' by Gary Paulsen. It came highly recommended. Anyone read it?
     
  17. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Jul 14, 2009

    You could use a short story too, maybe. "Rip Van Winkle" sets around the American Revolution.
     
  18. helpforteacher

    helpforteacher Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a great book we read when I was in school.
     
  19. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    Jul 21, 2009

    I am going to be reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond and a book called North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad.
     

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