Monday, October 24, 2011

“This Mighty Scourge”: Teaching the Civil War as a Focal Point in American History.

For 2011 - 2012, Flow of History will be examining issues central to our Nation's history, beginning with the American Revolution and continuing through to the end of the Civil War. We'll be featuring young adult historical fiction, memoirs, a stunning book of Civil War photographs, contextual articles, and a graphic novel. Reading strategy tools and primary source inquiry will also be shared as we continue to deepen our understandings of how to bring history to students in meaningful ways.

Here are the books we're reading:

Robert Penn Warren, The Legacy of the Civil War In this elegant book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer explores the manifold ways in which the Civil War changed the United States forever. He confronts its costs, not only human (six hundred thousand men killed) and economic (beyond reckoning) but social and psychological.

Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains

Set in New York City at the beginning of the American Revolution, Chains addresses the price of freedom both for a nation and for individuals. Isabel tells the story of her life as a slave caught between Loyalists and Patriots. YA Fiction Accompanying picture book: Emily McCully, The Escape of Oney Judge

Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel

Starting with Civil War battle scenes that showcase the fury of battle with a terrifying immediacy and moving through to Lincoln’s address itself, first-time author/illustrator Butzer brings home the sentiment behind the history-making cemetery dedication with a substance and reality that is both necessary and very timely. Combining words from actual letters of the time with accessible and expressive art, he introduces young readers to the idea that they may owe something to those who sacrificed all they had for democracy. YA

Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone

Kate Stone was twenty years old when the Civil War began. At that time, she was living with her widowed mother, five brothers and younger sister in northeastern Louisiana at her family home Brokenburn, a large cotton plantation of 1,260 acres and 150 slaves. During the war Kate and her family lost everything, watched as their way of life was destroyed and left their home to become fugitives to escape the Union Army they feared would harm them. Kate kept a diary from 1861 through 1868, in which she recorded her daily experiences.

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