Homeschool History


Download our free Guide to Teaching History



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Download our Guide to Teaching History

As Michelle Moran points out in her book "Why Historical Fiction Belongs in Your Classroom," Promoting Active Citizenship (New York: Random House, Inc.), "Historical novels teach psychology, geography, history, and English literacy, all in one addictively entertaining package." In Moran's experience, it was the historical novels that made children repeatedly come to her with questions after class. By using historical novels, she so caught their interest that they became avid historians, and that's pretty hard to do with grade school or high school history!

Homeschool Guide to Teaching History

Reading historical fiction, and complementing it with history books, not only allows the student to see the differences between history and fiction, but also gives rise to lively debates about politics, religion, morals, and power. Download our complete guide to teaching history with historical fiction.

Here are activities for using historical novels to teach history and language arts:

  • Read the appropriate novel for the age-group and unit you are studying.
  • Have the child describe the ten most interesting facts, ideas, or events they came across in the novel. A large-scale, detailed map or diorama of the novel is suggested to enhance the student's presentation, and
  • Have the child write a ten-page missing chapter, where the characters in the novel interact during an event that wasn't covered in the novel. This last assignment requires the child to read history books to see what the novelist left out, and it also requires that he assess the artistic reasons for eliminating incidents from the book.

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