Historical Children's Books
Levels Addressed: 7-12
Era (from national History Standards): Colonial History
Unit Name: Migration in Colonial America
Lesson Topic: Colonial Immigration and Ethnic Identity -- Children's Books
State Standards Addressed: 1.02
Objectives: (What will the student be able to do or understand when finished? Include history skills addressed.) Following the completion of this lesson, the student will be able to identify and comprehend the cause and effect relationships of the Colonial migration to the Americas through the historical narrative. In addition, the students will be better prepared to utilize the skills of the historian as they apply to turning research into a working narrative.
Time Needed: Two class periods (3 class hours)
Materials/Equipment: Standard art supplies: paper, markers, crayons, staples, glue, etc. (it is also helpful to have magazines, newspapers available for student access). A selection of Children's Books.
Introduction (Preview, anticipatory set): The instructor will choose and read a historical children's book. Virtually any children's book is acceptable, as long as it delineates the theme using visuals in a simplistic manner. Afterwards, engage the students in a discussion as to the benefits of using visuals to tell a story. Was this book successful at this? How could it have been better? Did you understand the story? Then tie in your study of Colonial migration and how the stories could be told in a simplistic format. Would that make it easier to understand?
Instruction -- multiple intelligence activities, procedure: Each student group is required to complete a Children's Book for an assigned group of immigrants in the Colonial United States (Huguenots, Scots Irish, Africans, Germans). The Children's Book is to be completed using visuals (drawings or cutouts) and rhyming. The book must be a minimum of six pages in length and must depict a minimum of three struggles/events that impacted the immigration process for the settlers. It must use color and have a front cover. In addition, the book must be age appropriate and targeted at a 7-year-old reader. Upon completion, each student group must present their book to the class with a "reading time."
Each student is assigned one of the following roles:
Historical Researcher/ Presenter
Historical Researcher / Artist
The project will graded upon historical accuracy, artistic creativity, neatness,
and time on task.
Text/Notes (This can be from a text, primary sources, historical articles, etc.):
Primarily, the students will use notes and the classroom textbook for historical research. (If time allows, time in the media center to analyze children's books and research in reference is also helpful.)
Processing/Assessment: Upon completion of children's book presentations, each student in the classroom will be required to write a paragraph summarizing the migration chronology of each ethnic group. (It is helpful to have students use an in class journal for this type of activity, but if the instructor does not use journals -- this should still work.) This enables each student to synthesize the simplistic information into a historical narrative.
Extension Activities (Could be homework): Working with an elementary school class, have your students present their books to a group of 7 year olds. This is fun for your students and the 7 year olds!