Hi there, I'm Kait!
Recently finished my student teaching in Detroit Public Schools. I will be teaching fourth grade at a PBL school in the fall!
One of the 7th grade standards is comparing historical fiction to history. For the last two years, I have done various books and the Holocaust, because it is familiar to me (I am not a social studies teacher and have never been a history buff).
My goal this summer is to change up my plan, learn about a new period of history and find and read a historical fiction novel so I can revamp what I’ve been teaching.
So, tumblrteachers, what historical period (and maybe historical fiction?) would you recommend?
Historical fiction was my favorite thing to read as a child and is quickly becoming my favorite genre to teach as well!
As a child, I read just about everything, but these eras and general trends were my favorites.
Medieval/Renaissance Europe: I’m not sure if this played more into the fantasy of it all, and looking back I have to wonder how much was based on actual history when I read things like “Catherine Called Birdy” or Tudor-era books, but they hold a special place in my heart because they led me to start acting at my state’s annual Renaissance Festival.
War: Obviously a lot of our traditional political history here in the USA seems centered around war, but I always liked reading about how regular people were affected by the wars themselves. The American Girl books were my first exposure to this, I suppose, but a recent favorite I read in a college course is “The Book Thief” (though that is still WWII era if you are looking to branch out).
Dear America/My Name is America: This gets its own category because of how obsessed I was with these books. I kid you not, they still take up an entire row of my book shelf. Looking back now as an educator, they are not always super profound, but I think their best service is providing children with first-hand narratives from people their own age dropped down in a specific time period and situation. The same publishers also had the Royal Diaries, a series of books about historical princesses that I loved.
Setting: I also loved books that took place in the state or area I lived in. At the very least, they initially drew me in despite possibly not being books I would have picked up otherwise (for me, “Bud Not Buddy” and “The Watsons Go to Birmingham” come to mind). The context is often stronger and being able to really observe the historical change and differences between then and now might be stronger in this light.
Good luck to you in finding something you and your kids love!
I teach in Michigan. Today the curriculum pacing guide had me covering the labor movement and the origins of work reform.