Reading Through History

This is my first year to ever teach American history. I really love it. History was my favorite subject while in school. In second grade I made my parents take me to a Civil War battle ground while on vacation (in 100F heat in Tennessee – my mom will be glad to give those details). High school history classes were boring to me. My teachers would either talk the entire time and give us notes or had us read then answer questions out of the back of the chapter. Gag! I skipped history to make signs for football games in the cheerleading office to avoid Mrs. Plaster and her stupidity. (yes I called a teacher stupid, but she really was y’all – I could write a book on this woman).

My freshman year in college, my LOVE for history came back to me. Samford had these history classes all freshmen had to take called “Cultural Perspectives 101 and 102.”  It blended Literature with history. First assignment was to read part of the Republic by Plato. I was immediately hooked! Not only was I learning ancient history, but was seduced by the writings of the eras studied.

This all came back to me the other day in Barnes and Noble where I saw the Republic. And the format of this class as been on my mind ever since. In two weeks (hopefully) I start my WWII chapter. I have decided the best way to teach this is to blend in literature from that time. I have a few books in my mind. I want to read them a chapter/longer book and have them read through some shorter passages or picture books. I am so excited about this. I think this may be a great experience for the students!

I’ll let ya know how it turns out!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Michelle says:

    Laurie Halse Anderson has an amazing collection of American historical fiction. Her website is, and if your school library doesn’t have any of the titles, I can pony some to you. Can’t wait to hear more!

  2. I am excited for you! I’m a English teacher that has taught Social Studies as well and I know what you are talking about. Names and dates on their own are not helpful to most students. Placing those names and dates in a context of an exciting story can prove to be more interesting to the students in the classroom. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

    – Nick

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