Historical fiction in the elementary grades

White, E. F. Bruce (1984) Historical fiction in the elementary grades. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Historical fiction has a rich potential to contribute to the intellectual, emotional, social, and even spiritual growth of children. Yet the potential of this genre is not recognized by many elementary school teachers. Foremost among the reasons for this reluctance is that not all elementary school teachers have been exposed to study in children's literature which would give them an awareness of the rich resources that are available in historical fiction, as well as the approaches, techniques, and activities appropriate to the teaching of literature in general and historical fiction in particular. Furthermore, the Program of Studies prescribed by the provincial Department of Education makes no particular reference to either children's literature or historical fiction. -- This study was undertaken to establish a set of criteria which teachers may use in evaluating and selecting books of historical fiction for their pupils, to develop a workable unit of study for historical fiction within an elementary school literature program, and to provide a small core list of historical fiction appropriate to elementary school pupils. -- All available literature pertaining to the nature of historical fiction as a literary genre and the potential value this genre has for sharing with elementary children was reviewed. This review formed the basis for the set of criteria. The recommended core and alternate lists consist of books which meet the criteria of excellence formulated from the literature review, have been personally examined by the writer, have been recommended in at least one reputable selection aid, and are presently in print or because of their interest, appeal, and popularity are available in the existing collection of many schools. -- The teacher's guide demonstrates one approach to teaching historical fiction. No attempt was made to deal with the many other, equally worthwhile approaches. The recommended core and alternate lists of books are not exhaustive. They are samples selected for their literary qualities and supportive themes. -- Based on this study a number of observations and recommendations are made to suggest how schools and teachers may be supplied with adequate up-to-date materials to ensure the success of a literature program. Other recommendations focus on the pre-service and in-service preparation of teachers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9449
Item ID: 9449
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Historical fiction; Literature--Study and teaching (Elementary)

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