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Literacy and History in Action

Immersive Approaches to Disciplinary Thinking, Grades 5–12

Thomas M. McCann Rebecca D'Angelo Nancy Galas Mary Greska Peter Smagorinsky

160 pages
Teachers College Press
This book offers a solid research and theoretical foundation for combining social studies and literacy instruction. A collaboration among a literacy scholar, two classroom teachers, and a school librarian, this volume also shows teachers how to engage middle and high school students in historical inquiry that incorporates literacy skills like reading complex texts and writing elaborated arguments. The authors present extended simulation activities that immerse students in three eras of U.S. history: European incursions into North America, pre-Revolutionary War colonialism, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. These simulations allow learners to experience these major periods of U.S. history while they discuss, read, and write in ways that align closely with the Common Core State Standards. The final chapter guides teachers in constructing their own classroom simulations and identifies useful resources. Book Features: Guidance for integrating language arts and social studies in ways that align with the Common Core State Standards. Simulation activities that show learners actively engaged in inquiry involving collaboration, deliberation, debate, and critical judgments. Models for disciplinary literacy that rely on primary source texts and historical fiction. Examples of student work, website resources, and an online appendix with rubrics for teachers.
Author Bio
Thomas M. McCann is a professor of English at Northern Illinois University. His books include Transforming Talk into Text. Rebecca D’Angelo teaches 5th grade at Edison Elementary School in Elmhurst, Illinois and serves on various school district curriculum development teams. Nancy Galas supervises student teachers and conducts professional development workshops nationwide. Mary Greska is a school library media specialist at Edison Elementary School, Elmhurst, Illinois.