K-6 Social Studies Resources

February 2016

How to Teach with Historical Fiction

Historical fiction illustrates different time periods and helps integrate social studies, reading, and writing.


Reasons to teach with historical fiction:

1. It gets kids curious about a topic. Does it always have to be a novel, no! There are lots of different historical fiction picture books.

2. It helps give all students background knowledge of the time period. Giving students background knowledge helps them infer and draw conclusions of texts.

3. It helps students see different perspectives of the time period with oral and written clues.

4. It helps connect social studies to the other subjects in your day.


How to Choose a Good Historical Fiction:

  • present a well-told story that doesn't conflict with historical records,
  • portray characters realistically,
  • present authentic settings,
  • artfully fold in historical facts,
  • provide accurate information through illustrations, and
  • avoid stereotypes and myths.


Teacher Resources:

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/why-and-how-i-teach-historical-fiction

http://teachinghistory.org/issues-and-research/roundtable-response/25287

http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1125&context=lajm