Historical Young Adult Fiction


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Introduction


Name of Genre: Historical Fiction

Definition of Genre:
The genre of historical fiction is a story that is written to describe a time period or express information about a specific historical event. The setting, in historical fiction, is the most important literary element. Authors deeply research the time period in order to get a feel of how people lived back then.

Purpose of Genre:
The genre’s purpose is to illustrate historical information about a specific time period or event.

Audience
- 5th – 8th grade students

Genre’s Conventions
- Southern language
- Historical pictures of the targeted period
- Southern graphics
- Black and white color scheme

Genre’s Background
Historical fiction is a popular genre. Karen Cushman’s Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife’s Apprentice, and Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Watsons go to Birmingham—1963 and Bud, Not Buddy are some examples of popular historical fiction authors and their books. The authors thoroughly research the information to create accurate and authentic settings in their books. They must know how people lived, what they ate, and what kinds of homes they lived in.

Historical fiction often allows students to link the information to non-fiction information that they learn. The author creates the settings, plots, and characters as if they are real. These documented events or places are described in picture books, transitional books, and novels.
Annotated Bibliography
Curtis, Christopher P. Bud, Not Buddy. Scholastic Inc. in 2002
Bud, not buddy is a typical sample of historical fiction. It tells a story that gives the reader a clear picture of the struggle that was endured during the time of the great depression. I chose this sample because I heard a lot of great things about it. My son had to read it and he could not put it down. This sample taught me that people, even children, went through many struggle to achieve what was passionate to them.

Curtis, Christopher P. The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. Dell Laurel-Leaf 1997
This novel is typical to the cultural of families in the sixties. Often parents would send their child to stay with another relative when there was a disciplinary problem. The problems that are described in the novel still exist in families today. This confirms that behaviors of the world repeat itself.

Armstrong, William H. Sounder. Scholastic Inc. 1969
This is your typical historical fiction novel. This reading is an inspiration for those who have obstacles between them and their goal. Despite the circumstances, the young boy in this novel continued to strive to be educated. This novel really encouraged me to work hard to achieve my goals in life.

Teaching Resources
www.rubricstar.com

www.readwritethink.org

Instructional Activities
Activity I: Exploring The Ballad of Birmingham
Grade 6 CCGPS
Reading Literary (RL)
ELACC6RL5: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
Skills/Concepts for Students:
  • Acquire knowledge of the component parts of various kinds of texts (scene, act, chapter, stanza, line, etc.)
  • Acquire knowledge of poetic structures appropriate to grade 6 (including examples of both lyric and narrative poetry)
  • Identify and evaluate common organizational structures ( (e.g., logical order, cause and effect relationships, comparison and contrast, order of importance)
  • Understand voice/point of view, author’s purpose, genre expectations, audience, length, and format requirements of various kinds of text
  • Take advantage of opportunities to see live dramatic performances
  • Read and write poetry for enjoyment
  • Analyze and evaluate the impact of poetic forms on the impact and meaning of a poems, reading a variety of poems from the simple, humorous, or unrhymed to strict metrical forms such as sonnets

Strategies for Teachers:
  • Provide explicit instruction and scaffolding as necessary for the skills and concepts students should acquire for RL5 (see above)
  • Guide students in deconstructing texts into their component parts, whether through “reverse” graphic organizers, or by identifying the steps in a process
  • or events leading up to a crisis in a story
  • Require students to perform pieces of dramatic literature
  • Model reading interesting, relevant, or surprising poetry aloud, with appropriate pacing, tone, and inflection to engage the audience; have students
  • practice reading poetry aloud
  • Use Poet.Org (http://www.poets.org/) to allow students to explore multiple genres, literary periods, and subject matter in poetry, including hearing audio
  • recordings of poets reading their own work
  • Provide explicit instruction on the forms of lyric and narrative poetry appropriate to grade 6, as well as basic elements of rhythm, rhyme (both internal and
  • end), and rhyme scheme

Ballad of Birmingham

By [[/bio/dudley-randall|Dudley Randall]] 1914–2000 Dudley Randall
(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963)
“Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
And march the streets of Birmingham
In a Freedom March today?”
“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For the dogs are fierce and wild,
And clubs and hoses, guns and jails
Aren’t good for a little child.”
“But, mother, I won’t be alone.
Other children will go with me,
And march the streets of Birmingham
To make our country free.”
“No, baby, no, you may not go,
For I fear those guns will fire.
But you may go to church instead
And sing in the children’s choir.”
She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair,
And bathed rose petal sweet,
And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands,
And white shoes on her feet.
The mother smiled to know her child
Was in the sacred place,
But that smile was the last smile
To come upon her face.
For when she heard the explosion,
Her eyes grew wet and wild.
She raced through the streets of Birmingham
Calling for her child.
She clawed through bits of glass and brick,
Then lifted out a shoe.
“O, here’s the shoe my baby wore,
But, baby, where are you?”

Sample Instructional Activity:

Purpose of Activity: Analyze how a particular stanza fits into the overall structure of a text (poetry) and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

Resources: Randall Dudley’s “Ballad of Birmingham” http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/randall/ballad.htm, http://www.balladofbirmingham.org/
Activity Steps: Total time: 20 minutes
  1. Define Ballad.
  2. Give brief background of events that took place during the time the poem was written.
  3. Allow students to read “The Ballad of Birmingham”.
  4. Show a short music video of “The Ballad of Birmingham”.
  5. Have students to write adjectives that express how they feel about what was read or heard. Ask students which method (hearing and seeing or reading) had the most effect on how they feel.
  6. Discuss each stanza of the poem. Check for understanding of the poem.
  7. Explain “mood” and “tone” of poem.

Homework (or next day): Students will brainstorm about a ballad of their own and be prepared to write about it.

Recommended Vocabulary for Teaching and Learning:

Act
Scene
Chapter
Stanza
Climax/Crisis
Rhyme Scheme
Internal Rhyme
End Rhyme
Rhythm
Shift
Arc
Theme
Setting
Plot
Characterization

Activity II: Exploring The Ballad of Birmingham with photo story
Grade 6 CCGPS
Reading Literary (RL)
ELACC6RL5: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

Skills/Concepts for Students:
  • Acquire knowledge of the component parts of various kinds of texts (scene, act, chapter, stanza, line, etc.)
  • Acquire knowledge of poetic structures appropriate to grade 6 (including examples of both lyric and narrative poetry)
  • Identify and evaluate common organizational structures ( (e.g., logical order, cause and effect relationships, comparison and contrast, order of importance)
  • Understand voice/point of view, author’s purpose, genre expectations, audience, length, and format requirements of various kinds of text
  • Take advantage of opportunities to see live dramatic performances
  • Read and write poetry for enjoyment
  • Analyze and evaluate the impact of poetic forms on the impact and meaning of a poems, reading a variety of poems from the simple, humorous, or unrhymed to strict metrical forms such as sonnets
Strategies for Teachers:
  • Provide explicit instruction and scaffolding as necessary for the skills and concepts students should acquire for RL5 (see above)
  • Guide students in deconstructing texts into their component parts, whether through “reverse” graphic organizers, or by identifying the steps in a process
  • or events leading up to a crisis in a story
  • Require students to perform pieces of dramatic literature
  • Model reading interesting, relevant, or surprising poetry aloud, with appropriate pacing, tone, and inflection to engage the audience; have students
  • practice reading poetry aloud
  • Use Poet.Org (http://www.poets.org/) to allow students to explore multiple genres, literary periods, and subject matter in poetry, including hearing audio
  • recordings of poets reading their own work
  • Provide explicit instruction on the forms of lyric and narrative poetry appropriate to grade 6, as well as basic elements of rhythm, rhyme (both internal and
  • end), and rhyme scheme

Sample Instructional Activity:

Purpose of Activity: This activity will allow students to demonstrate what they know about a ballad, and how to infer their mood to the audience.

Resources: Randall Dudley’s “Ballad of Birmingham” http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/randall/ballad.htm, http://www.balladofbirmingham.org/

Activity Steps: Total time: 20 minutes
  1. Individual Activity: Students will write a ballad of an event (fiction). 5 mins.
  2. Share and discuss. “What feeling/mood does your poem convey?”
  3. Students will choose a part of their ballad and act it out (3 min max)

Homework (or next day): Students revise ballad and bring to class a photo story of their ballad.

Recommended Vocabulary for Teaching and Learning:
Act
Scene
Chapter
Stanza
Climax/Crisis
Rhyme Scheme
Internal Rhyme
End Rhyme
Rhythm
Shift
Arc
Theme
Setting
Plot
Characterization
Student Assessment Rubric

Name: _ Date:


Historical Fiction Ballad (Photo Story)
This project is designed to assess your understanding of a historical ballad and whether or not you are able to create your own. You will choose a historical event, write a ballad for it, and then incorporate your ballad into a photo story using the following rubric. Remember to be creative and make your project entertaining. Be mindful of your audience. Have fun!
CATEGORY
4
3
2
1
Theme
Establishes a theme relating to a historical event early on and maintains a clear focus throughout.
Establishes a theme relating to a historical event early on and maintains focus for most of the presentation.
There are a few lapses in focus, but the theme relating to a historical event is fairly clear.
It is difficult to figure out the theme of the presentation.
Images
Images create a distinct atmosphere or tone that matches different parts of the ballad. The images may communicate symbolism and/or metaphors.
Images create an atmosphere or tone that matches some parts of the ballad. The images may communicate symbolism and/or metaphors.
An attempt was made to use images to create an atmosphere/tone but it needed more work. Image choice is logical.
Little or no attempt to use images to create an appropriate atmosphere/tone.
Grammar
Grammar and usage were correct (for the dialect chosen) and contributed to clarity, style and character development.
Grammar and usage were typically correct (for the dialect chosen) and errors did not detract from the ballad.
Grammar and usage were typically correct but errors detracted from ballad.
Repeated errors in grammar and usage distracted greatly from the ballad.


How-To Write: Historical Fiction
At-A-Glance

The genre of historical fiction consists of stories that are written to describe a time period or express information about a specific historical event. The setting, in historical fiction, is the most important literary element. Authors deeply research the time period in order to get a feel for how people lived back then.

How-To

ü Read examples of historical fiction

ü Research the historical event and time period of interest
  • Make notes of language used
  • Gather any information that you did not already know
  • Any source may be used (i.e. internet, library, reading books)
ü Use graphic organizers to establish story elements (i.e. characters, setting, plot)

ü Determine word choice, audience (who are you writing to), and graphics (if any)

ü Begin draft (sloppy copy)
  • Put the information you researched into your own words.
  • Write sentences and paragraphs even if they are not perfect.
  • Read what you have written and determine if it says what you mean.
  • Allow a peer to read it and ask for suggestions that may make it better.
  • Walk away from it!

ü Revise the draft
  • Read what was written and try to make it better.
  • Rearrange words or sentences.
  • Add or omit parts
  • Read aloud to make sure it flows well.

ü Proofread
  • Be sure all sentences are complete.
  • Correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
  • Change words that are not used correctly.
  • Have someone check your work.
  • Recopy (type) the work with all corrections.

ü Publish
  • Read your writing aloud to a group.
  • Create a book of your work.
  • Share the final product.

*Helpful Tips
Choose historical events that interest you.
Choose research material within your reading level.
View videos related to the historical event to help get a true feel for the time period.