Sunday, August 19, 2012

Literacy Initiative Brings Non-Fiction History and Historical Novels to the 6-12 Social Studies Classroom

Since 2009 each grade level PLC has selected historical fiction novels and non-fiction history texts to increase students literacy opportunities in the social studies classroom.  Mike Schmoker (Focus: Elevating the Essentials) states that "we don't appreciate deeply enough the outsize value of social studies. If we did, we would do more to preserve its soul: literacy, analysis, and argument." The High School Advanced Placement classrooms are in their third year of summer reading offering 8 titles about the American Revolution including 1776 and Rise to Rebellion.  American History Seminar incorporates a book into its oral history unit and students have read War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust and will read Unbroken this year.  AP World History reads An Edible History of Humanity while AP European History reads A World Lit Only by Fire.  Global Studies students will be exposed to graphic novels Waltzing with Bashir and Shenzhen.  Alternative Social Studies is considering reading a novel about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.   At the Junior High 9th graders in the honors classes read Summer of 1787 and will be reading the economics text The Invisible Heart during second semester.  A graphic novel on the Constitution is also being considered.  8th grade teachers were leaders in promoting the reading of fiction and non-fiction.  In 8th grade U.S. History students in the honors sections have read Eyes on the Prize, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and this year will be reading Unbroken, a non fiction book on WWII.   Regular education students read Woodsrunner, Night John, Copper Sun, The Devil’s Paintbox and do literature circles with a variety of Civil War novels. The Reading Specialist, Ann Hoesly has helped teachers choose books. Middle School student in World Studies read The Enemy Has a Face and The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana & Mali.   More books will be selected this year in 6th grade Ancient Civilization. The IMC Librarian Beth Martin has provide the social studies staff with a variety of topic books which are used for Inquiry projects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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