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Historical fiction study

Students discuss the medieval period as portrayed in their book club books.

 Several sixth grade language arts classes have joined forces with social studies to create a cross-curricular unit of study on the medieval period. First, historical novels from the medieval period were chosen by the students and teachers to fit their interests and reading levels. Students were then put to work researching various topics relating to the feudal system to help build background knowledge. Some students composed a slideshow while others wrote an essay to teach the class about their assigned social class and related topics.

Students have done a great job of finding the historical truths from their shared research in their historical fictional novels. It is such a great experience for students to live medieval history vicariously through the characters in their novels and understand the immense value of the historical fiction genre.

Other sixth grade language arts classes continue to develop their analytical and interpretive skills in literature through a study of Mark Twain's literary classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. They are focusing on the elements of fiction and have been encouraged to use higher order thinking skills as they draw inferences and make personal connections to Twain's often humorous story of American childhood in the 1840's. They are examining Twain's diction and use of dialect and developing an understanding of persuasion in this William & Mary Center for Gifted Education Language Arts Unit on Persuasion. As a culminating activity, students will participate in a Southern Celebration and showcase some of their research on rural American lifestyles in the 1840's.

In addition to the whole class novel study, these students are reading novels independently from the NCSLMA Battle of the Books (BOB) book list. They continue their vocabulary study by focusing on the Latin and Greek roots embedded in words and just created their own "Conversation Hearts" using stems and vocabulary words from the first 10 lists.

Written by: Lynn Gleason and Bonnie Rogers
Posted: Feb 19, 2014 by Brita Mann

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