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HF Textbook?

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The Czar
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HF Textbook?

Post by The Czar » Thu February 9th, 2012, 2:57 am

I teach history among other things at a career college (Colonial American History mostly). I have long thought that HF would be a great way to teach history, and get the students to actually read something.

Of course, using novels wouldn't work, as they are too long. I've thought it would be an awesome idea to make a textbook that is basically a series of fictional, although highly accurate, novellas set in the different periods you are covering.

Does such a thing exist? Of course, it would need to be varying levels of clean, depending on what age group you are dealing with, but I think it could be great.
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
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Post by fljustice » Thu February 9th, 2012, 6:03 pm

I think a lot of students get bored by history because it's all about battles, treaties, remembering dates and the "big picture" with little or no information about everyday people they can relate to. The best history books, I've run across focused on the true stories of everyday people and how those big picture events affected them. For the US revolution I, liked particularly liked A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence by Ray Raphael.
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Post by Carla » Thu February 9th, 2012, 8:04 pm

What about short story collections? Short stories are even shorter than novellas. For English history Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill collections leap to mind; they are billed as children's stories but are so well-written and multilayered that I think they still work as adult reading. Is there anything roughly equivalent for colonial American history?
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Post by Ludmilla » Thu February 9th, 2012, 8:36 pm

I think the short story route is a good idea. If you search Gutenberg by subject (American History) you'll find this list. Historic Tales and Heroes from American History in that link might be worth checking into. Some of Washington Irving's stories might work. If you are interested in supplying stories beyond the Colonial period, there are a lot more stories about pioneers and the American West (e.g., London, Twain, Harte, Cather). For Civil War, Ambrose Bierce wrote a lot. I'd look into American folk tales as well.

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Post by annis » Fri February 10th, 2012, 3:59 am

In our library we have a series called the My Story Series, short stories featuring ordinary children/teenagers, but based around notable historical events. They do tend to be more suitable for for the 10-15 year-old age group, so might be too young for what you have in mind. They are very popular, though. I'm sure there must be an American equivalent.

Edited to say there is- three series in fact - Dear America for girls , I Am America for boys and The Royal Diaries
Last edited by annis on Fri February 10th, 2012, 4:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: HF Textbook?

Post by ellisael » Thu October 8th, 2020, 7:56 am

I am reading this thread much in the future from the OG posting. This thread, however, reminded me the concept of social reproduction- teaching history is an act of social reproduction in that the mode of pedagogy not only decides how the content is received and what attitude towards these social material is created- this is esp why dreaming up more interesting ways of teaching history s important. Following the thread for the same

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