In cooperative groups, students read historical fiction from specific eras (ancient Egypt, Middle Ages, American Revolution, westward expansion, Civil War, and WWII), keeping their assigned era secret from other groups. In phase 1, they learn elements of literature (such as character, plot, setting, and anachronism); in phase 2, they research their era's people, places, and events to develop clues for other groups to decipher on Mystery Era Day. Phase 3 has groups produce original historical dramas and present them to the class and invited guests on History Alive day. The teacher's guide contains procedures, recommended reading by era, handout masters, assessments, and enrichment activities (which may stand alone). Student guides include an overview, charts for tracking reading progress and aspects of literature, and graphic organizers. The full unit runs for 23 class periods, though phase 3 may be omitted. Grades 5–8. 8½" x 11". Interact.
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