Lessons & Units :: Genre 4th Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Historical Fiction

Lesson Plan

Meet Addy: An American Girl | 700L

Meet Addy: An American Girl
Learning Goal
Identify and describe evidence in a text, showing that it is historical fiction.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Example Chart for Direct Teaching and Guided Practice, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Meet Addy: An American Girl by Connie Porter, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will introduce, explain, and chart the three main characteristics of historical fiction: the story is set in a historical time period; the characters are fictional; the story is based on historical facts. I will read the title and inside cover or back (the location of the synopsis differs depending on the edition you have) of Meet Addy: An American Girl by Connie Porter. I will add information from the inside or back cover to the characteristics chart. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Chart is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.) For example, "The story takes place in 1864, during the time of slavery. We know that slavery really did exist in the late 1800s, so this gives us a clue that the book will be historical fiction. We also see that this book is going to tell us a story but not necessarily just give us information. Usually fiction texts tell a story and do not exclusively give information, so we can conclude that the text is fiction."

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I determine that this text is an example of historical fiction? Students should respond that you read the cover and synopsis and used your background knowledge to determine whether the story was based in a historical time period and contained historical facts. Then, you thought about what you learned from the synopsis, and considered whether the book was going to tell you a story (fiction) or just give you historical information. Because you learned from the back cover that the book is a story about a girl during the time of slavery, you decided that the book was an example of historical fiction.

  • Guided Practice

    will listen as I read Chapter 1 aloud and discuss the evidence found in the book about the historical time period and historical facts. We will add this information to the chart.

  • Independent Practice

    will listen as I read Chapter 2 and record evidence from the book showing the historical time period and historical facts. You will also list the fictional characters in the story and explain how you know the book is fictional. (Student Independent Practice is provided below.)

Build Student Vocabulary desperately

Tier 2 Word: desperately
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story When Addy carried the bucket of water to the field, her eyes desperately searched for her father and Sam.
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Desperate means without hope. When Addy’s eyes were desperately searching the fields, she was without hope that she would find them.
Students repeat the word Say the word desperately with me: desperately.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts Sometimes I desperately need to use the bathroom. I have to find one in a hurry. I was desperate when I couldn’t find my car keys in the storm.
Students provide examples Can you think of something that you desperately want? Why do you think you will not get it? Tell me about it by saying, “I desperately want ____________, but I do not think I will get it because __________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? desperately
Additional Vocabulary Words clothe, scowl

Build Student Background Knowledge

After reading the story, explain to students that Addy and Momma traveled the underground railroad. The underground railroad was not a train route; it was an informal network of people who helped slaves escape slavery and find a home in the Northern states or Canada before and during the Civil War. It was a secret way that slaves could reach freedom. Share additional information about the Civil War with your students.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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