Earlier this month, the fourth graders had the opportunity to create their own sandwiches. However, these masterful meals weren’t the edible sort. They were book report sandwiches and they were carefully written, decorated, and presented to the class. Each ingredient of the sandwich provided a different aspect of the book: the setting on a slice of cheese, the main characters on the meat, the plot on a leaf of lettuce, the problem on a pickle, and so on.
Prior to creating their sandwiches, each student selected and read a novel from the historical fiction genre. Time periods chosen included the last ice age, the middle ages, the American Revolution, the Civil War, both World Wars, the Civil Rights movement, Hurricane Katrina, and countless time periods in between. Reading historical fiction allows our fourth graders to mentally transport to another time and place in history, often through the lens of a character with whom they can identify. By understanding what a character thought and felt throughout the book and feeling their humanity, students increase their sense of empathy and start to see historical events and tumultuous time periods in a new light.
“After all, that’s why we read historical fiction - to be transported to another time, and to be astonished at people’s lives and traditions, just as they would probably be astonished at ours.” - Michelle Moran
Check out more photos of our book reports in the February album on Vidigami.