Historical Book Report – Activity

Historical Novel Assignment

[Excerpt  From  Holodomor in Ukraine, The Genocidal Famine  1932-­33: Teaching Materials for Teachers and Students – By Valentina Kuryliw]

This historical novel assignment encourages students to think critically about history through identifying and analyzing continuity and change. Students read excerpts from a historical novel to extract information about the events, people, and time period portrayed.There are two ways of dealing with a historical novel:

  • They could explore sections of a book, which the teacher has selected;
  • They could read the entire book and select three aspects of life that have been described about the historical period.
  • These could be political, social, economic, religious and cultural realms and record theirfindings in a Venn diagram.

Novel Suggestions : Ulas Samchuk’s Maria: A Chronicle of a Life, Olha Mak Stones under theScythe

Appropriate for students:

Grades 9-12

Curriculum Fit / Specific Expectations / Learning Outcomes:

Please select outcomes you wish to cover from either English language arts or social studies or histor and prepare an assessment to share with the students at the outset.

Set-up Required:

Students will work at their desks

PRE-TASK ACTIVITIES

  • Discuss with students that novels can be a good source of historical information.
  • Distribute the excerpts and the Venn diagram graphic organizer to students.
  • Introduce the Venn diagram to students. Explain how it is used to compare and contrast information.
  • Prompt students to consider the following when reading the excerpts:
  • In their readings, students are to look for political, economic, social, religious and cultural aspects of life, and how they have influenced the people in the novel.
  • Were the influences positive or negative? Explain.

Student  Handout

Historical Fiction Book Review Assignment on the Holodomor

1000 words / 100 Marks

Assignment due:

Format

  • title page
  • write on every other line
  • number pages
  • paragraphs

Select a historical novel about the life of an individual or event, which reflects the chosen historical period. Read the novel and write a book review that includes all of the components below.

Presentation

Introduction; State the name of the novel, author, publisher, date published, and number of pages. Include a short biography on the author (date of birth, place of residence, experiences that influenced their work, other works, etc.).

Main plot; State the historical periods covered in the novel, summarizes the plot, and describe the main characters (100-200   words).

Main emphasis; Select three aspects of life described in the novel (e.g., political, economic, religious, military, cultural, social). How are they presented? What did you learn, for example, about the social conditions in the society? Describe what life was like using three specific events or facts from the story for each of the aspects of life.

Analysis; Analyze the style used to tell the story. Was the novel well written? Logically presented? Difficult to read? Why? Did the author present life of the times realistically? Support your reflections with concrete facts. Did the author include maps, pictures, or known historical figures? What is the novel’s audience, tone, and point of view? What are the main themes?

Conclusion; Your overall impression of the book. Would you recommend this book? Why or why not?

Student Handout 2

Student Checklist: Historical Fiction Book Review

Please complete the following checklist prior to submitting your book review. Checklist must be submitted along with assignment.

I have read the assigned book in its entirety

 

The introductory paragraphs of my book review include:

  • the name of the book
  • the name of the author
  • the publisher, date, and location of publication
  • the number of pages
  • the author’s relevant biographical information (e.g., date of birth, place of residence, education, experiences that influenced their work, relevant affiliations, other works, etc.)

 

The body of my book review includes:

  • a brief summary of the book’s plot
  • a brief description of the main characters
  • the book’s audience, tone, and point of view
  • the main ideas or themes in the book
  • a description of three aspects of life (e.g., political, economic, religious, military, cultural, personal)
  • a historical analysis of the chosen aspects using evidence to back up my claims (textbooks, articles, class notes, reputable websites)
  • a critique of the author’s style (e.g., Are the order of events in the book logical? Is the story convincing? Is the book confusing to read?)

 

The concluding paragraphs of my book review include:

  • my overall impression of the book
  • my recommendation (Would you recommend this book to someone else? Why or why not?)
  • I have created a title page for my assignment
  • I have properly cited any quotations or ideas I have used in my assignment
  • I have included a bibliography with my assignment
  • I have edited my work
  • I have checked the rubric to make sure my assignment addresses the expectations

Assessment Chart

Knowledge/Understanding LEVEL 4 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 1
Uses facts from the short story to develop the letter. Shows a high degree of effective ness in using facts from the short story to develop the letter. Shows considerable effectiveness in using facts from the short story to devel op the letter. Shows some effectiveness in using facts from the short story to develop the letter. Shows a limited degree of effectiveness in using facts from the short story to develop the letter.
Demonstrates understanding of key ideas, concepts, terminology, and themes. Demonstrates a high degree of understanding of key information, ideas, concepts, terminology, and themes. Demonstrates considerable understanding of key information, ideas, concepts, terminology, and themes. Demonstrates some understanding of key information, ideas, concepts, terminology, and themes. Demonstrates a limited degree of understanding of key information, ideas, concepts, terminology, and themes.

 

Thinking LEVEL 4 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 1
Analyzes and synthesizes information. of effectiveness. Analyzes and synthesizes information with a high degreeeffectiveness.Communicates information with a high degree of clarity. Analyzes and synthesizes information with considerableness. Analyzes and synthesizes information with some effectiveness. Analyzes and synthesizes information with a limitedness.
Communicates position and ideas clearly. Communicates information with a high degree of clarity. Communicates information with considerable clarity. Communicates information with some clarity. Communicates information with a limited degree of clarity.
Uses proper conventions of language, grammar, and punctuation. punctuation with a high degree of effectiveness. Uses proper conventions of language, grammar, and punctuation with considerable effectiveness. Uses proper conventions of language, grammar, and punctuation with some effectiveness. Uses proper conventions of language, grammar, and punctuation with some effectiveness. Uses proper conventions of language, grammar, and punctuation with a limited degree of effectiveness.

 

Application LEVEL 4 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 1
Draws appropriate conclusions in the chosen role. Draws appropriate conclusions in the chosen role with a high degree of effectiveness. Draws appropriate conclusions in the chosen role with considerable effectiveness. Draws appropriate conclusions in the chosen role with some effectiveness. Draws appropriate conclusions in the chosen role with a limited degree of effectiveness.
Uses persuasive images, words, and phrases true to role, audience,and format. Shows a high degree of effectiveness in choosing persuasive images, words, and phrases that are true to role, audience, and format. Shows considerable effectiveness in choosing persuasive images, words, and phrases that are true to role, audience, and format. Shows some effectiveness in choosing persuasive images, words, and phrases that are true to role, audience, and format. Shows limited effectiveness in choosing persuasive images, words, and phrases that are true to role, audience, and format.

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