Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Fiction Books and the Civil War
Author:
Georganna Krumlinde
Course:
American History
Time Frame:
1 day to present the assignment and to look over the annotated bibliography, visit the library, and choose a book.
Subjects:
Civil War

Grade Levels:
10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • Individual assignment
  • Technology based
  • Use of primary sources
  • Cross-curricular

Rationale:
  • Most students would rather read fiction.  The idea is for them to use fiction to learn history; thus increasing their understanding of history, and increasing the amount of reading they do.  I
  • The other reason is in this way, they can’t just use book reviews and copy something from the Internet that someone else said about the book.  They have to use critical thinking skills.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


  • Taken from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website, under Social Studies Standards:  “In Social Studies, students in Missouri public school will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of: 1. principles expressed in the documents shaping constitutional democracy in the United States., 2. continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world.”, and “7.  the use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents).”

 

The following are Goals that I think can be met with this assignment; again taken from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website under Social Studies Standards:

 

  • Goal 1 Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to gather, analyze and apply information and ideas.

Students will demonstrate within and integrate across all content areas the ability to

1. develop questions and ideas to initiate and refine research

2. conduct research to answer questions and evaluate information and ideas

 

4. use technological tools and other resources to locate, select and organize information

5. comprehend and evaluate written, visual and oral presentations and works

10. apply acquired information, ideas and skills to different contexts as students, workers, citizens and consumers.

 

  • ·         Goal 2 Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom.

Students will demonstrate within and integrate across all content areas the ability to

1. plan and make written, oral and visual presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences

2. review and revise communications to improve accuracy and clarity

 

 

  • ·         Goal 4 Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to make decisions and act as responsible members of society.

Students will demonstrate within and integrate across all content areas the ability to

1. explain reasoning and identify information used to support decisions

4. recognize and practice honesty and integrity in academic work and in the workplace

5. develop, monitor and revise plans of action to meet deadlines and accomplish goals

6. identify tasks that require a coordinated effort and work with others to complete those tasks

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Computers with Internet capability
  • Annotated bibliography of books available in our library

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Civil War maps

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • I will give the students a copy of an annotated bibliography of fiction books in our collection on the Civil War, and explain the assignment.
  • Students will choose a book to read from the annotated bibliography on the Civil War, or choose one of their own, and ask for approval.
  • Students will read the book.
  •  Students will visit the website: www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org , click on the timeline and find at least 5 major events that were happening during the time period of the book they read.  Students will identify the events as to whether they are local or national events.
  • Students will go to http://kchistory.org and click on browse/search.  They will scroll down to Maps and click on maps.  Students will find the map that comes closest to showing the setting of their book.  Students will print the map, and highlight places that are mentioned in their book. 
  • Students will write a paper in which they answer these questions:
  1.  Who is the main character and how does the Civil War affect him/her?
  2.  How does the Civil War affect his/her family?
  3. How does life in his/her community change as a result of the war?

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
  • By reading the papers the students write, I will be able to tell if they read the book, and if they have an understanding of the impact of a war on individuals, their families and their communities.