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Lesson Plan

Traveling the Road to Freedom Through Research and Historical Fiction

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Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time 5 to 6 weeks or thirty 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Beth O'Connor

Westfield, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, middle-school students read historical fiction to gain an understanding of an important period in American history. Understanding the beliefs and motivations of people from the past helps students make sense of historical events and the circumstances leading up to these events. Students also have the opportunity to work together through online research (i.e., WebQuest) and book discussion groups to analyze different historical perspectives and to use this information to create a fictional character for an original piece of historical fiction.

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Roser, N.L., & Keehn, S. (2002). Fostering thought, talk, and inquiry: Linking literature and social studies. The Reading Teacher, 55(5), 416–426.

  • Integrating literacy activities into a social and cultural context in the classroom positively influences a student's intellectual process.

  • Literature should be an integral part of student's inquiry and meaning constructions of the world.

  • Students can find little meaning in history unless they are helped to understand the point of view of a participant.

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