Friday, December 2, 2016

Historical Fiction in Writ Lit and World History

November was the kick-off for our historical fiction unit in Writ Lit and World History, which began in English class with the delivery of students' novel baggies! Each bag contains one of the 6 novels we are reading (all centered around globalization in the 16th and 17th centuries), 2 packs of sticky notes, and the reading schedule along with reminders for how to sticky note during reading time.

Each day, students have 30 minutes of class time to enjoy reading their books. As they go, students sticky-note their thoughts, observations about the characters, and questions about historical references.

Students have also been categorizing their sticky notes as literal, inferential, or critical, helping them to better understand the different levels of thinking involved when we interpret texts.

On any given day, students can be found reading in various spots around the room. On the left, Antigona decided she was most comfortable at the high top table, whereas Noah wanted to read on the floor. There is great energy in a room full of readers (even if no one is speaking)!

The second part of each class period is giving students time to build a warehouse of resources that help them understand the historical context of their novels, events they are also studying in World History. So far, we have studied how the migration of the Germanic Tribes affected the evolution of the English language and how the Edict of Expulsion explains the beginnings of the Reconquista in Spain. Next? The Bubonic Plague!

We also used our very own BHHS statues of the Knight and the Baron  to give us insight into creating historical fiction. Below, York and Amari decide on the best angle from which to photograph the Knight for their story, and to the right you can see part of Georgia's story about the Baron.

While learning about these historical topics, students have also learned how to apply the C.R.A.A.P. test to assess a source's Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. And of course, they are quick to share that they're learning "CRAAP" in English. (As a side note, they are also using this CRAAP in World History and Biology!)

Here's what the students have to say about our unit so far:

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