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Ch 5: Teaching Historical Fiction for Children

About This Chapter

Look over examples of lesson plans, comprehension questions and classroom activities used to help young students read and understand books about historical fiction.

Teaching Historical Fiction for Children - Chapter Summary

This chapter was made with the objective of creating resources teachers can use to study example lessons plans, activities and questions used to teach students about historical fiction. In it you will review such resources for books of historical fiction, including:

  • The Whipping Boy
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
  • Snow Treasure

These resources have been formatted into brief, mobile-device-compatible articles. You may review them whenever and wherever you have access to the Internet.

How It Helps

  • Class discussion questions/topics: Use the questions presented in this chapter to start educational classroom discussions.
  • Homework or classwork suggestions: Use these example questions to also assemble you own assessment and test your students' knowledge.
  • Activities or games: Historical fiction, like true history, can be learned through classroom activities, including the ones presented in the chapter.

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson-plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning lessons regarding historical fiction easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific historical fiction topics you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your reading class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related reading lessons for each lesson plan with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important historical fiction concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant literature-related activities, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

56 Lessons in Chapter 5: Teaching Historical Fiction for Children
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Courage of Sarah Noble Lesson Plan

1. The Courage of Sarah Noble Lesson Plan

Use this lesson after reading 'The Courage of Sarah Noble' to help students summarize key plot points. Students read and respond to the lesson, then apply new understandings with an activity.

The Courage of Sarah Noble Activities

2. The Courage of Sarah Noble Activities

''The Courage of Sarah Noble'' shows how a little girl displays grace under pressure. These activities will provide a foundation for the book's events and characters, while allowing students to formulate their own opinions.

Tonight on the Titanic Activities

3. Tonight on the Titanic Activities

Educate your first through fifth grade students about the book 'Tonight on the Titanic', and conduct five group activities to promote creative skills and increase understanding of the fateful turn of events.

The Whipping Boy Lesson Plan

4. The Whipping Boy Lesson Plan

Teach about morality, friendship and examine character traits in the story 'The Whipping Boy.' Students summarize key plot points, analyze characters and determine theme.

The Whipping Boy: Summary & Characters

5. The Whipping Boy: Summary & Characters

Join Jemmy and Prince Brat in The Whipping Boy as they embark on a journey and together face villainous crooks, dancing bears, and sewer rats. Two seemingly opposite boys will have to work together and overcome their dislike for one another to get home.

The Courage of Sarah Noble Comprehension Questions

6. The Courage of Sarah Noble Comprehension Questions

Teachers, utilize this lesson to further enhance your students' understanding of the book. Assign It's All About What You Think questions to increase their critical thinking and analysis skills.

Sarah, Plain and Tall Lesson Plan

7. Sarah, Plain and Tall Lesson Plan

Are you reading 'Sarah, Plain and Tall' with your students? This lesson plan reviews major plot points and outlines characters, then have students dig into the text to find supporting details. Follow up with a fun activity.

Sarah, Plain and Tall: Summary & Characters

8. Sarah, Plain and Tall: Summary & Characters

~'Sarah, Plain and Tall~' by Patricia MacLachlan is a story filled with family, love, and learning. After a sad season following the loss of his wife, Caleb is on the search for a happier beginning for his two children which leads to his search for a new wife and mother. Explore Sarah's journey as she takes on this role and learns what love truly means for a family who has experienced so much loss.

Sarah, Plain and Tall Comprehension Questions

9. Sarah, Plain and Tall Comprehension Questions

Students reading the novel Sarah, Plain and Tall will enjoy the simple, straightforward story. Use these questions to check their comprehension of story elements like plot, setting, and characters on varying levels.

Sarah, Plain and Tall Activities

10. Sarah, Plain and Tall Activities

''Sarah, Plain and Tall'' focuses on the gift of family. These activities will familiarize students with the state of Maine, events and scenes of the book.

A Little Princess Book Lesson Plan

11. A Little Princess Book Lesson Plan

This lesson plan explores a summary of 'A Little Princess' by Frances Hodgson Burnett. After students have read the book, they will read a lesson, answer discussion questions, complete an activity and take a quiz.

A Little Princess: Book Summary & Characters

12. A Little Princess: Book Summary & Characters

''A Little Princess'' by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a tale of how a wealthy little girl named Sara Crewe becomes suddenly poor when her father dies. Explore how the story teaches the harsh realities of classism and treatment for the poor versus treatment for the rich.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Questions

13. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Questions

''Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes'' is a novel that inspires readers in many ways. Use this lesson to pose questions to students about the novel. Questions range in type and depth for easy differentiation.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Activities

14. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Activities

Up the engagement level and connect learning to fun activities. This lesson provides ideas for activities to use with the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes for all skill and developmental levels.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Lesson Plan

15. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Lesson Plan

Reading the novel 'Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes?' This lesson plan will help launch your students into the historical novel, giving them background and teaching about the author. Follow up with predictions and an activity.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Author & Genre

16. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Author & Genre

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a story that inspires hope and peace. Read about this true story, and learn some interesting facts about the author Eleanor Coerr.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Summary & Characters

17. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes: Summary & Characters

'Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes' tells the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl affected by the bombing of Hiroshima. Explore the summary and characters of the story which follows Sadako's sickness, paper crane mission, and her posthumous legacy.

Journey to Ellis Island Lesson Plan

18. Journey to Ellis Island Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan after your students read 'Journey to Ellis Island' by Carol Bierman. In it, you will find an informational text lesson to help studens summarize key plot points, before discussing and analyzing the book. Finish off with a culminating activity.

Journey to Ellis Island Book Summary

19. Journey to Ellis Island Book Summary

This lesson will summarize the book Journey to Ellis Island, which tells the true story of the Weinstein family as they flee to America from Russia. We read of their journey across the ocean and of their processing on Ellis Island.

Snow Treasure Comprehension Questions

20. Snow Treasure Comprehension Questions

Teachers, explore your students' attitudes and feelings about racism and courage with this lesson. Ensure they have read the book by assigning the comprehensive questions. This lesson may be used in a traditional classroom or online environment.

My Brother, Martin Lesson Plan

21. My Brother, Martin Lesson Plan

Introduce your students to Martin Luther King Jr. with this lesson plan. Use the the nonfiction children's book 'My Brother, Martin' to launch a study, then have students read a text lesson to learn key facts about his life.

Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

22. Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great speaker, and he led people during a very important time in America. He was also a scholar, a minister, and a civil rights activist. Learn about this man who became a living legend.

Little House in the Big Woods Lesson Plan

23. Little House in the Big Woods Lesson Plan

Would you like to simplify your instruction of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House in the Big Woods?' Three detailed text lessons lay the foundation for an engaging and informative group teaching activity in this lesson plan.

Little House in the Big Woods: Summary & Setting

24. Little House in the Big Woods: Summary & Setting

This lesson will summarize the book 'Little House in the Big Woods' by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In addition, this lesson will explore the book's setting.

Little House in the Big Woods Characters

25. Little House in the Big Woods Characters

In this lesson you will learn more about the characters in Laura Ingalls Wilder's book 'Little House in the Big Woods.' Get ready to meet the main character, Laura, as well as her Pa, Ma, and sisters!

Little House in the Big Woods Activities

26. Little House in the Big Woods Activities

''Little House in the Big Woods'' is a good book for classrooms that are exploring life in historical times. This lesson offers activities to help students make comparisons between our life now and life in the days of early settlers.

Little House in the Big Woods Comprehension Questions

27. Little House in the Big Woods Comprehension Questions

''Little House in the Big Woods'' is a classic tale of life on a settler's land in the late 1800s. This lesson offers comprehension questions organized into literary techniques, setting, characters, and plot/story categories. Both short answer and essay style questions are offered.

Little House on the Prairie Lesson Plan

28. Little House on the Prairie Lesson Plan

Reading 'Little House on the Prairie' is a classroom staple. Boost your students' understanding of the novel with this lesson plan that uses three text-based lessons as part of an activity to summarize plot, analyze characters, and teach students about about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Little House on the Prairie: Book Summary

29. Little House on the Prairie: Book Summary

This lesson will teach you about the book ''Little House on the Prairie'' by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is the second book in her series, and you will learn about the Ingalls family and their journey west to find a new home in the prairie.

Little House on the Prairie Characters

30. Little House on the Prairie Characters

This lesson will introduce you to the characters in the book ''Little House on the Prairie'' by Laura Ingalls Wilder. You will meet Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, and Carrie and learn a little bit about their travels west to live on the prairie.

Little House on the Prairie Discussion Questions

31. Little House on the Prairie Discussion Questions

'Little House on the Prairie' by Laura Ingalls Wilder is an autobiographical novel about growing up in the American frontier during the mid-1800s. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this story.

The People Could Fly Lesson Plan

32. The People Could Fly Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan, students will enjoy understanding how folktales were originated and learning about the different types. They will watch a video, read a lesson, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity and take two quizzes.

The People Could Fly Summary

33. The People Could Fly Summary

In Virginia Hamilton's retelling of the folktale, ''The People Could Fly,'' slaves manage to get away from ruthless owners. Review a summary of this story to learn about its background, beginning, and magic words.

Clouds of Terror Lesson Plan

34. Clouds of Terror Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students answer questions about the story and write informative texts about similar topics while reading 'Clouds of Terror' by Catherine A. Welch.

George vs. George Lesson Plan

35. George vs. George Lesson Plan

This lesson plan requires students to read 'George vs George' by Rosalyn Schanzer, then students will explore the colonist's opposition against Great Britain during the 18th century by participating in discussion questions and completing an activity.

Farmer George Plants a Nation Lesson Plan

36. Farmer George Plants a Nation Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students understand the cause and effect relationship between historical events and George Washington's contributions as they read 'Farmer George Plants a Nation' by Peggy Thomas.

Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas

37. Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas

In this lesson, we will learn about Colonial American history and the life of George Washington, as told in Peggy Thomas' picture book ''Farmer George Plants a Nation''. We will explore his efforts to cultivate the farmland at Mount Vernon while balancing his work as a general and political leader.

Catching the Moon by Crystal Hubbard Lesson Plan

38. Catching the Moon by Crystal Hubbard Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students recognize Marcenia's response to problems she encounters as a female baseball player in the 1930s while reading 'Catching the Moon' by Crystal Hubbard. Have students complete a characterization for Marcenia and come up with alternate solutions to some of her problems.

Goodbye Vietnam Lesson Plan

39. Goodbye Vietnam Lesson Plan

This lesson plan may be used to help your students answer questions about the text, learn unfamiliar words, and compare Vietnam to Hong Kong in the mid-1900s while reading 'Goodbye, Vietnam' by Gloria Whelan.

Mary on Horseback Lesson Plan

40. Mary on Horseback Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers effectively use the biographical story, 'Mary on Horseback' by Rosemary Wells, to help their students learn about nursing during World War I in Appalachia.

Mary on Horseback Summary

41. Mary on Horseback Summary

Mary Breckinridge was a nurse who established better health care in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky by starting the Frontier Nursing Service. Learn more about her in this lesson, which will summarize 'Mary On Horseback' by Rosemary Wells.

Sarah, Plain and Tall Unit Plan

42. Sarah, Plain and Tall Unit Plan

'Sarah, Plain and Tall' is a Newberry Award-winning children's novel by Patricia MacLachlan about an unconventional family in the 19th century. This asset provides teachers with an outline for a novel study about this book.

Nory Ryan's Song Discussion Questions

43. Nory Ryan's Song Discussion Questions

''Nory Ryan's Song'' is a novel about an Irish girl and her family during the Great Hunger. These discussion questions can help your students work through their thoughts and feelings about this novel.

Phoebe the Spy Activities

44. Phoebe the Spy Activities

''Phoebe the Spy'' is a popular children's story set in the early stages of the American Revolution. These activities can give your students ways to engage with this story, its characters, and its themes.

A Poppy Is to Remember Activities

45. A Poppy Is to Remember Activities

'A Poppy Is to Remember' by Heather Patterson details the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. Use the activities in this asset to help students truly understand the meaning behind this book.

Out of the Dust Discussion Questions

46. Out of the Dust Discussion Questions

''Out of the Dust'' can be challenging on the first read, but it will impact how your students think about literature. Use these questions to guide them through a class discussion on the novel and its structure.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia Discussion Questions

47. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia Discussion Questions

'One Crazy Summer' by Rita Williams-Garcia is an award-winning children's book about the Civil Rights movement. This asset provides discussion questions for this novel.

The Longest Ride by Denise Lewis Patrick Discussion Questions

48. The Longest Ride by Denise Lewis Patrick Discussion Questions

Denise Lewis Patrick's ''The Longest Ride'' is a children's novel about the Old West, US Civil War, and freedom. These questions can help guide your students through a class discussion on this book.

The Bracelet by Yoshiko Uchida Discussion Questions

49. The Bracelet by Yoshiko Uchida Discussion Questions

'The Bracelet' is one family's story of relocation to a Japanese internment camp. Use these discussion questions to guide your upper elementary or middle school students in meaningful conversations about historical context, characters, and themes.

Lily's Crossing Discussion Questions

50. Lily's Crossing Discussion Questions

'Lily's Crossing' is a young adult novel by Patricia Reilly Giff about a friendship between an American girl and a Hungarian refugee during World War II. This asset offers discussion questions about this novel.

We Are All Welcome Here Discussion Questions

51. We Are All Welcome Here Discussion Questions

Exploring Berg's 'We Are All Welcome Here' can be an intriguing journey through a family's life as they overcome trials. Help your high school students understand more about historical context, characters, and themes with these discussion questions.

Day of Tears Discussion Questions

52. Day of Tears Discussion Questions

These questions can help you guide your students through a class discussion on the plot, characters, and themes of Julius Lester's historical-fiction novel 'Day of Tears'.

Skylark Discussion Questions

53. Skylark Discussion Questions

'Skylark' is the continuation of the 'Sarah, Plain and Tall' story. It follows the Witting family as they face trials and make changes. Use these discussion questions to help your elementary school-age students understand character, plot, and theme.

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic Discussion Questions

54. The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic Discussion Questions

Are you looking to teach about the early twentieth century? Hazel Gaynor's novel 'The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic' explores the famous ship and some of its passengers. After reading it with your students, use these questions to discuss the details.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg Discussion Questions

55. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg Discussion Questions

The following questions can help you guide your students through a structured discussion about Rodman Phibrick's 'The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg'.

Boxcar Children Project Ideas

56. Boxcar Children Project Ideas

The Boxcar Children has been a beloved children's series for many years. Help your elementary-age students apply their knowledge of the book(s) by using these interactive project ideas.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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