Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Living History: Using Historical Fiction in the Classroom


Shelley Stout debuts with a novel of characters as compelling as the true story it covers. Like a good reporter, she follows the facts. In this case she not only uncovers a story little known, but more importantly she reveals in her characters, the  humanity of a tragictale.” – Batt Humphreys, former senior producer for CBS News and author of Dead Weight.

Curriculum shouldn’t be dead pages and facts, it should be a process in which teachers and students join together to find its meaning and develop a relevant experience. Teachers in real classrooms are the ones who can contribute the most to this process, with web2.0 tools, self-publishing services and Apps making technologies available, teachers sharing what works, created by current teachers, in their teaching experience will be the next big thing in education. These living knowledge nodes in teacher network will be more valuable and creative than limited view points of commercial publishers.

Shelley Stout gives us a great model here. This post is from her, hope it gives you some inspirations !

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When I initially began writing my novel, Radium Halos- a Novel about the Radium Dial Painters, my intended audience was adults. Over the past two years since its release, I have discovered my novel also appeals to the young adult crowd. Thus began my quest to introduce Radium Halos to students in middle schools and high schools and to teachers as a teaching tool.

Radium Halos is historical fiction, based on the true story of the Radium Dial painters. Who were they? What happened to them? Why is their story important?

Very few people are aware of this tragic, true story from American industrial history, in which teenage and young women factory workers in the 1920s were exposed to radiation, while painting watch and clock dials with radium paint. Although they reported their resulting illnesses to their superiors, they were denied timely medical coverage or compensation.

Students need to make sense of what has happened in history. How can they relate to young people or adults from other centuries and the decisions they made? How did these people in history overcome adversity and learn from their mistakes? What can we learn?

If you are a history or social studies teacher, it’s important for your students to see connections and draw parallels between history and current events. You want to expose your students to as much of our historic past as possible, so they can understand how something that happened decades or centuries ago is still relevant in our present-day lives.

Radium Halos works well with your existing history curriculum, either for middle schoolers (8th-grade) or high school students. It is available in paperback and in all eBook formats. A curriculum guide, (available on my blog as a free download)  features unit objectives, pre- and post-reading activities, writing assignments, cross curriculum activities for science and/or literature, and student assessments with answer keys. Also included are activities for eBook readers, AP, and special needs students.

To find out more, please visit her blog : Living History for teachers and students.

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Author Bio. : Shelley Stout is a former teacher and published author of short stories, novels, magazine articles, and blogs. She presents workshops to teachers and enjoys being a writing mentor and tutor for children and adults. Shelley is available to speak to students via Skype.

Follow her on Facebook, or on Twitter .

Link to Amazon page through this book cover image.Radium Halos

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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