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Global and Historical Timelines

The Fifth Grade classes studied the genre of historical fiction in Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops. Historical Fiction is a fictional story that occurs during a specific time period. During their studies Mrs. Goodman’s class made a timeline of the events of Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine, one of the historical fiction stories read aloud in their classroom. In Henry's Freedom Box, a slave named Henry escapes from his owner in Virginia by making and hiding in a large box. His friend and Dr. Smith helped him by having the box shipped to Philadelphia to a group of abolitionists. Then the class made a historical timeline of the events related to the issue of slavery in the United States to correlate with the events of the story. On this timeline dates for Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery, the election of President Abraham Lincoln, the Battle of Fort Sumter, and the end of the Civil War were included.

To further develop their understanding of timelines, the students made a personal timeline of their life. They included events such getting a first tooth, learning to ride a bike, beginning school, losing a tooth, a trip to the zoo, playing the first game on a sports team, etc. Then they developed a historical timeline that coordinated with their life. Students used their netbooks to research historical events that occurred between 2001 and 2014. Students included events from around the world such as the crash of the Columbia Space Shuttle, the wars in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, the marriage of Prince William and Kate, the birth of Prince George, the death of Rosa Parks, the launch of Facebook, the launch of the iPhone, and many other global events. The students learned that during their lifetimes technology development has boomed. They also learned that voting to help establish democratic forms of government is happening in an increasing number of countries.

The students used their new understanding of timelines and world events to write their own historical fiction piece. They were able to include significant phrases, events, and even the names of clothing for our time period within their stories.

Written by: Belinda Goodman, 5th Grade Teacher
Posted: May 30, 2014 by Jennifer Williams

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