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Ms. Lewis from Windsor NC is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Growing Literacy through Historical Fiction

My students need engaging and accessible historical fiction (and non-fiction) texts to help them increase background knowledge and literacy skills.

  • $744 goal

This project expired on April 7, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Learning history is tough. Many scholars, young and old, struggle with connecting historical information to the people it affected and to themselves today. Reading historical fiction and non-fiction essays is one of the best ways to put the personal stories back into the historical data.

Our county is the 3rd poorest in the state and all of my students receive free or reduced lunch.

There is little economic development in the county and doing well in school, graduating and hopefully going to college is one of the few ways to make a living in our area. Because of this and other challenges our students face, the pull of gang membership is strong and a recent survey by an economic development agency found that by the time youth in our area are 15, between 70 and 80 percent have been or are currently involved in gangs. It doesn't have to be this way though. In my time teaching here, I have seen the dramatic impact academic achievement and caring, engaged teachers can have on our students. Life goals and student trajectories have completely changed before my eyes. I want to do more to make this happen by increasing my students' background knowledge and increasing their literacy skills through reading historical fiction with them.

My Project

To make increased knowledge and literacy a reality, I am requesting five copies of a wide range of historical fiction and non-fiction texts to be read by students in my middle school social studies classes and students I teach in an after school program. The time periods these stories are set in range from the Revolutionary War through the Civil Rights Movement. I have also tried to select texts that highlight the experience of minorities (specifically African Americans since over 90% of my students are black), who are often left out of traditional history curricula. I've also looked for texts that are appropriate for low- and mid-level readers (sometimes called high interest-low readability texts), as well as texts that will challenge my on- and above-grade level students.

Building literacy skills is one of the most foundational activities that occurs in school.

Students cannot build this skill if they do not read. This is why I know I need to incorporate more reading into my social studies classes. But the textbook is often boring, dry, and unengaging for students who struggle with reading, so I need to use creative methods to immerse my students in written words and historical information. Please help me and my students read and understand history!

Ms. Lewis
Grades 6-8
  • Bertie Academy - The Hive
  • Windsor, NC

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30 donors30 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 35 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 Christopher Paul Curtis • Barnes and Noble $5.97 5 $29.85
Rosa Parks: My Story Rosa Parks, Jim Haskins • Barnes and Noble $5.97 5 $29.85
MIDNIGHT IS A PLACE JOAN AIKEN • Barnes and Noble $14.57 5 $72.85
The Jungle (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) Upton Sinclair, Maura Spiegel (Illustrator), Maura Spiegel (Introduction) • Barnes and Noble $4.22 5 $21.10
The Triangle Fire Leon Stein, William Greider (Introduction) • Barnes and Noble $14.57 5 $72.85
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred D. Taylor • Barnes and Noble $6.83 5 $34.15
Death of a Salesman (Penguin Classics Series) Arthur Miller, Christopher Bigsby (Introduction) • Barnes and Noble $8.89 5 $44.45
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck • Barnes and Noble $7.69 5 $38.45
Number the Stars Lois Lowry • Barnes and Noble $5.97 5 $29.85
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank, B.M. Mooyaart (Translator), Eleanor Roosevelt (Introduction) • Barnes and Noble $5.12 5 $25.60
Don't You Know There's a War On? Avi • Barnes and Noble $5.12 5 $25.60
Milkweed Jerry Spinelli • Barnes and Noble $6.41 5 $32.05
Amos Fortune, Free Man Elizabeth Yates, Nora S. Unwin (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble $5.97 5 $29.85
My Brother Sam Is Dead James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier • Barnes and Noble $5.97 5 $29.85
The War Within: A Novel of the Civil War Carol Matas • Barnes and Noble $5.97 5 $29.85

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


30 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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