If you took a poll of current educators, one of the top things that teachers would tell you they need is more TIME. Although I can’t give you more time in your day, I can help you maximize your time!
One struggle with time is being able to teach the many standards WELL in a short amount of time. Here in Georgia, fourth grade teachers are responsible for teaching students pre-explorer days with Native Americans, to exploration of the United States, to colonization, to the American Revolution, to the creation of our government (new nation), to the War of 1812, to Westward Expansion, to abolitionists and suffrage movements… ummmm hello?! That’s over 400 years of history in one!
There are so many wonderful historical fiction books out there. We would be here all day if I started listing my favorites! But one of my favorites that I’ll focus on in this post is Henry’s Freedom Box.
If you teach about the Underground Railroad or abolitionism, this is an amazing book to use! But you don’t have to ONLY read this book during your social studies time for a history lesson…
- There are some great vocabulary words in this book that students can use context clues to define.
- Henry “Box” Brown is as a truly courageous man. Students can analyze Henry and determine character traits to describe him.
- Students can find evidence in the story to demonstrate ways slaves were treated unfairly (which also relates back to your social studies content).
- Students could compare Henry to Harriet Tubman and discuss how they both took drastic measures to escape slavery (again, goes back to social studies content, too).