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Timeline of Historical Fiction

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Subjects

  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
    --Literature
    --Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
    --Measurement
  • Social Studies
    --History
    --U.S. History
    --World History
    --Regions/Cultures

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

An historical fiction timeline offers insight into history while adding color and life to classroom walls.

Objectives

Students will

  • select a piece of historical fiction to read (resources provided).
  • review the literature through the perspective of history (writing prompts provided).
  • scan the cover of the book or create a cover illustration to appear with the book review in the appropriate spot on the timeline.

Keywords

timeline, historical fiction, fiction, history, book report, review

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

  • historical fiction selections
  • computer and scanner (optional)
  • art supplies

Lesson Plan

Historical fiction is an ideal tool for learning about life in different eras. Literature transports students back in history, provides insight into the lives of people and events in time, and motivates students to want to learn more.

For this activity, use a wall (or two) of your classroom to create a timeline of the era of history you are studying. Mark on the timeline the centuries and decades related to your study. Have students read books related to the designated periods. (See sources in the Historical Fiction Resources section below.) When they are finished reading, ask students to write a brief book review, in which they provide the title of the book, the author, the copyright date, the range of time (years) the story covers, and two or three of the following:

  • what they learned about the era/history that they did not know before reading the book
  • the most amazing or interesting thing learned from reading the book.
  • the climactic event in the book
  • the person, place, or thing they were inspired to learn more about by reading the book
  • why they would -- or would not -- recommend the book to a classmate.

Next, have students use a scanner to reproduce the cover of the book. (Alternative: If students do not have access to a scanner, they can create their own art to illustrate an important element of the book.) Tell students to put the scanned image/art on top of the written review and use tape to seal the two together along their top edges only.

Attach the completed reviews to the appropriate periods on the timeline. Visitors to the classroom timeline gallery can simply lift the cover image/illustration to read more about the book.

Historical Fiction Resources

  • The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
  • Young Adult Historical Fiction Reading List
  • Booklist (United States Through Time)
  • Kids' Books: Historical Fiction (The Old World)
  • Kids' Books: Historical Fiction (America)
  • Carol Hurst's Children's Literature and U.S. History
  • Historical Fiction for Grades 4-8

    Extension Activities

    • Students might use word processing to complete their book reviews, setting the margins on the word document to the exact measurements of the scanned image of the book.
    • The class might create an historical fiction timeline Web page similar to the one created by Ms. Woodring's students -- the Young Adult Historical Fiction Page.

    Assessment

    Students will properly place their book reviews on the timeline. Book reviews will meet expectations set in advance of the lesson.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
    GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
    NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
    NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
    NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
    NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    MATHEMATICS: Measurement
    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-MEA.3-5.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
    NM-MEA.3-5.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-MEA.6-8.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
    NM-MEA.6-8.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-MEA.9-12.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
    NM-MEA.9-12.2 Apply Appropriate Techniques, Tools, and Formulas to Determine Measurements

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: U.S. History
    GRADES K - 4
    NSS-USH.K-4.1 Living and Working together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
    NSS-USH.K-4.3 The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage
    GRADES 5 - 12
    NSS-USH.5-12.1-10 All Eras

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: World History
    GRADES 5 - 12
    NSS-WH.5-12.1-8 All Eras

    TECHNOLOGY
    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools

    Find more great reading activities in Education World's Reading Lesson Archive.

    Click to return to this week's Reading Fun! lesson plan page.

    Originally published 02/28/2003
    Last updated 01/19/2009


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