Explore Colonial American history through the lens of literature! By reading and analyzing historical fiction, young students will gain insights into topics from American history, as well as an appreciation for elements of literature. Reading selections are carefully chosen from a list of award-winning novels intended for middle school audiences.
Reluctant historians who love to read will find a path to understanding the past. History lovers who remain skeptical of literature study will find a gentle introduction to literary analysis. This interdisciplinary course will provide readers with diverse interests and backgrounds ample fodder for discussion, critical thinking, and creative response.
Books in this series may be easier to read and analyze than those studied in Lightning Lit 7 and 8, but some historical topics may be emotionally challenging for younger or more sensitive readers. LL7, LL8, and Historical Fiction classes may be taken in any order. This literature series complements the History of US series nicely. Minimal writing skills are required.
- fiction vs. reality
- Native American relations
- Social stratification
- Revolutionary War
- Historical illness and medicine
- Salem Witch Trials
Learning activities include regular writing to communicate ideas via the discussion forum, videos and multimedia materials to support learning, use of web 2.0 tools to illustrate new concepts, and weekly participation in live webinars.
Tentative Book List:
- Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
- Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
- Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Sophia’s War by Avi
- My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Most books are readily available at your local library or can be purchased online. The final book list of 5-6 books for this class will be posted by summer 2020.
Note for sensitive readers: This class is designed to be appealing and academically appropriate for a wide range of ages. However, some historical topics may be emotionally challenging for younger or more sensitive students. The fictional protagonists face perilous journeys and some do not survive the dangers they face. Please review the book selections carefully to determine the appropriateness of this class for your student. In addition, if the overall class is appealing but a single book selection is concerning, students may skip the reading and associated webinars for that book.