Historical Literature 8th gr. Assignments

Karen Correa
2021-2022 School Year
Classes ~ 8th Grade
The class will explore, analyze, and discuss  a variety of historical literature. We will delve into the impact and effect that historical literature has on our view and perception of historical events when presented as a story/fiction. 

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Past Assignments


Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

Discuss-character analysis-filling what you don’t have in what you think your person would be. Show don’t tell. Don’t start off with My name is  I live on the Mt Vernon plantation. I work as a cook in the kitchen. This is personal. You know who you are. Now show us.  “Yesterday Matthew  drowned in the mill pond. I was out in the tobacco field when I heard the raucous.. It was one of those hot humid days that had you are drenched in sweat the minute you step out in the sun. Matthew  was probably exhausted from the heat. He just wanted to cool down. Why don’t they teach us how to swim? Do they think we are like a dog or a horse who just knows how to swim? Looking at  Matthew  I thought  “At least he’s free now.”

Find or create three events

  •  why is it important
  • Give a date
  • Show who is talking and what they are feeling.

  1. Check off character analysis
  2. Check off three events with approximate dates.
  3. Write one journal entry


Finding the Voice

Discussed chapters 21-25 Worked on Character analysis





Students responded to this quote from  Taking Liberty: “Why would I want to be free on the howling  streets wondering where I work and live?” 
Read I am poem on George Washington together. Discussed positive and negative attributes of Washington. Discussed voice and giving their person a voice through both poetry and the journal. Students wrote I Am poem about their person.
Reviewed chapters 16-20 in Taking Liberty
Homework: Read the last five chapters.
Students responded to this quote from  Taking Liberty: “Why would I want to be free on the howling  streets wondering where I work and live?” 


Research for the journals

-Review and discuss chapters 11-15. Discussed character analysis, timeline, and events to put in their journal.

Homework: Read chapters 20-25




Reviewed chapters 11-15 in Taking Liberty.  Established timeline for diary entries. Create a list of other people who were part of the era. Created list of events that occured on the plantation or within the country. Students worked worked on created a character analysis of the slave they chose to write about.
Homework: Read chapters 16-20.


My Name Is

Reviewed chapters 5-10. Discussed the effects of slavery, favoritism, and the division of labor could have on family dynamics. Discussed indentureship vs slavery. 
Chose a Washington owned slave to research and began background of the time and place in which they lived. Students will continue research and then create three diary entries that illustrate and give voice to the lives these people experienced. 
Homework: Read the next 5 chapters in Taking Liberty. BRING BOOK TO CLASS!!!


Presidents and Slavery

Discussed chapters 1-5 in Taking Liberty. Discussed slave/servant, the term Gone as it referred to escaping slaves and others leaving Mt. Vernon. Student then created a short bio on presidents who own slaves. It was a good opportunity for them to cross reference sources and illuminating in what little information there is about presidents who own slaves. They shared their findings with the class as a whole and we discussed the lack of information and the extent that slavery was apart of the executive branch of our government. They spent the last portion of class in silent reading.
Homework: Bring book to class each week. Read through chapter 10


Who is George Washington?

Introduce new book today. Preliminary research included  looking at the 1619 project  middle school version. We discussed the timeline presented in the handout that emphasized events in US history related to slavery, discussed common myths often taught about slavery. Students then did a general search on George Washington, including what his false teeth were made of, how many slaves he owned and other little discussed facts about him. We talked about the book and I read the prologue to them. They spent the last portion of the class in silent reading.
Homework: Read the first  5 chapters in Taking Liberty. Bring book to class next week.  Teachers, please let your student know that chapters for this week is fine as I originally said 10.


A Boy and His Dog

We are wrapping The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Today we discussed how to write a found poem. I read them chapter 2 "Khamba" and then we went over how to write found poem. They broke into partners and did a close read of the chapter, finding words that named William and his dog Then they noted phrases surrounding these two characters We discussed the theme of the poem and the students then choose seven chronological phrases that illustrated the theme we has discussed. They then chose one phrase from their list to put on the board for a communal poem.  Next week the partners will choose one chapter each from the book to do a close read on and create individually a found poem on the theme that people are successful because of the help and encouragement receive from friends and strangers..

If we have time we will begin prelim on Taking Liberty


What is the Color of Starvation

We discussed the Universal Declaration on  Human Rights and the the Convention on the Rights of a Child. As partners, students looked up specific articles in each document and shared with the class. The partners then shared a copy of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind to find words and phrases that William Kawamba used to describe the devastating effects of slow starvation. They then chose words from the lists they created and added to the water color painting they had created in the last class. (Come and see them in room 6). We finished watching the movie. Next week we will wrapped up our study of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by looking at all the people in Wiliam's life who helped him succeed and bring change to his village. The next book we will be reading is Taking Liberty by Ann Rinaldi. 


OOPS gremilins at it again!n

In lue of not having enough books for students to read themselves, students listened to readings from The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. It focused on descriptions of starvation in Mawali. Students then created a watercolor painting of colors they associated  with starvation. Next week they will choose words from the text to write across the painting. We were planning on watching the end of the movie, but through a glitch were not able to. Students then had a half hour of study hall and twenty minutes in the sunshine. They were good sports.


The World is not that Small

Listened to chapter 1-"When Magic Ruled the World Boy" in The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

  Respond to the following quote from p. 20 first full paragraph, with a minimum five sentences. 

               Even though we lived in a small village in Africa, we did many of the same things kids do all over the world; we just used different materials.  After talking with friends I met in America, I know this is true. Children everywhere have similar ways of playing with one another. And if you look at it this way, the world isn’t such a big place.

Take notes on the quote and respond to questions on a separate sheet of paper. 

Do you agree? What examples of universal games can you think of? What does he mean “the world isn’t such a big place?

Discuss as a class.

In the absence of books we continued watching the movie.

Note to teachers-I have collected those papers from students who wanted to turn them in. This was not home work But is being given to teachers to use as work samples if you like.


Intro to The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Students familiarized themselves with the book content and setting. Students did an in depth study of Malawi which included filling in a physical map and research to find a variety of current facts about the country. Part of the Netflix movie was shown and discussed particularly on areas of conflict that had occurred. Because we are waiting on an order of books, there was no reading assigned.