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When it comes to designing lessons, I have found these standards to be liberating, because they emphasize the process of reading, writing, listening, and speaking over any particular canon.With my eyes firmly focused on the standards, my first planning question is no longer, “Which book should I teach next?For example, you might write a story set during the Vietnam War from the perspective of a Vietnamese woman whose husband is fighting in the conflict, or you could create a character from the Revolutionary War who is a British sympathizer.
Many historical events have perspectives that are underrepresented or unexplored in literature.
Write your story from the point of view of a character who experiences a side of the story's true events that frequently goes untold.
” but, “How can I engage my students in thoughtful work?
” The standards prompt me to step back and consider my real goals: to help my students to develop lifelong critical literacy skills.
Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006.
She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.Those who cannot or do not wish to focus on their own family's stories work with material provided by the teacher.Supported by differentiated modeling and coaching from the teacher in a workshop environment, they develop a vignette (character sketch), short story, or chapter of a longer work that demonstrates their understanding of the qualities of excellent historical fiction.Choose a historical event, then craft a fictional plot that mirrors the conflict at the heart of the real circumstances.For example, the Civil War would make a rich backdrop for a story about a family that is split apart when the father and oldest son choose to fight on separate sides of the conflict.In historical fiction, the fictional story line often symbolically reflects the plot's real-life setting.In Markus Zuzak's "The Book Thief," for example, young Liesel's desire for the knowledge found in books is pitted against the widespread censorship and propaganda of Nazi Germany.This unit represents the best that I know about moving students toward real engagement and, ultimately, toward deep and lasting understanding.I started my planning with a careful examination of national and local standards.They also learn or review the process of examining primary sources for the kind of detail that supports a story's development.Finally, students work throughout the unit to research their family's history, using all resources available to them: oral histories, letters and diaries, photo albums, Internet-based genealogical search tools, and the like.