The importance of learning history through literature

In centuries past this statement would have seemed self-evident. Ancient cultures devoted much time and effort to teaching their children family history. It was thought that the past helps a child understand who he is.

The importance of learning history through literature

Using literature to teach history is not a recent educational innovation. Stories illustrating the triumphs of individuals embodying civic virtue and good character were at the curricular core of nineteenth-century common schools.

Narratives provided children with an understanding of American history and government as well as the attributes that individual citizens needed to maintain the Republic.

The importance of learning history through literature

Spelling and reading books were primary means of this kind of cultural transmission. Generations of American children defined themselves individually and communally through stories and amalgams of fiction and fact in the McGuffy readers and similar textbooks used almost universally in schools during the last century.

An indicator of increasing interest among educators in using literature to teach history is the large number of scholarly and popular articles published in the past ten years advocating this teaching method.

For instance, one of the most-repeated claims of history education advocates is that historical narrative is more interesting and comprehensible to students than the expository writing of social studies textbooks. It is also important to note that without teacher mediation to direct their reading of multiple sources of information, students failed to understand the nature of historical sources and historical writing.

Furthermore, without guidance from the teacher, students were unlikely to discern the relative quality or value of different sources of information.

Rather, they tended to view various sources indiscriminately, as if they all were equally useful, reliable, and valid. Fifth grade students are capable of deep historical understanding, but only if carefully guided by a teacher Levstik Effective teachers, therefore, enable their students to better understand particular historical events within a contextual framework of other interrelated events.

To develop student expertise, the teacher emphasizes historical fiction throughout the school year. Books which the teacher can discuss with students to stimulate their interest are available in the classroom.

As the year proceeds, children present book talks and offer recommendations about the quality of the literature.

Jan 16,  · However, when parents try to teach history through literature, their children learn falsehoods, create wrong images of the past, and become a prey to their emotions in understanding the meaning of kaja-net.comon: Beck Road RICE, WA USA. Learning history means gaining some skill in sorting through diverse, often conflicting interpretations. Understanding how societies work—the central goal of historical study—is inherently imprecise, and the same certainly holds true for understanding what is going on in the present day. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion. 3. A leap into the past. History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates.

At the beginning of the history fair unit, children choose historical fiction books that interest them. A time line is placed on the wall. As the children study history through literature, they add events and dates to the time line to gain perspective on the relationships between those events.

The children read books during the first two weeks of the unit and then write reports on what they learn about a particular period in history. During the next three weeks of the history fair, students research an event or time period treated in the historical fiction books they have chosen.

Children then gather materials to find pertinent information about the time periods they are studying. Students are also encouraged to interview people who may have lived during the time period, if it is recent enough; for example, the Vietnam War, World War II, or the Great Depression.

When they finish their research, students meet with the teacher.

Learning History through Children's Literature. ERIC Digest.

This critically important component of the unit allows the teacher to help students comprehend main ideas, remedy misconceptions, and offer suggestions about additional information they need to finish their inquiries.

After their conferences with the teacher, students write final drafts of their research reports. During the final two weeks of the unit, students refine their reports and prepare displays.

Prior to the fair, students present their projects to classmates using their displays as guides. Students and teachers view the fair during the day; parents and other family members visit in the evening. Using their displays as guides, the children talk about what they have learned.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the history fair is that children of all levels of ability can succeed and learn something important to them about a topic in history. They learn how to find information through many different sources, and they learn that when reading historical fiction, they can go beyond the story and dig deeper into the history behind that story.

The following list of resources includes references used to prepare this Digest. However, they can be located in the journal section of most larger libraries by using the bibliographic information provided, requested through Interlibrary Loan, or ordered from commercial reprint services.

Macmillan Publishing Company, Tunnell and Richard Ammon, Eds. National Council for the Social Studies, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, Further, this site is using a privately owned and located server.

This is NOT a government sponsored or government sanctioned site.Through the study of history, citizens, policy makers, and governments as a whole can identify patterns of behaviors and cycles that led to both positive and negative turns in events.

Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion. 3. A leap into the past. History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates.

Learning history means gaining some skill in sorting through diverse, often conflicting interpretations. Understanding how societies work—the central goal of historical study—is inherently imprecise, and the same certainly holds true for understanding what is going on in the present day.

Teaching history using children's literature, both fiction and non-fiction, is an old idea enjoying new vitality in the elementary and middle school curriculum. This Digest discusses (1) the revival of interest in teaching history through children's literature, (2) research-based guidelines for.

Literature is important because it develops critical thinking skills, fosters empathy for others, reduces stress and develops readers' personal experiences. It can also be a learning tool for subjects including medicine, history, sociology and psychology. Learn American History Through Literature: Ghosts of the Titanic Learn about the sinking of the Titanic from an unusual perspective, from those sent out to clear the bodies from the water.

Engage in discussion questions and complete many fun extension activities related to the sinking of the Titanic.

Importance Of Literature