St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Literature based history and writing

I love the way our classical study program approaches U.S. History and Geography…. 

Being a literature based program, it includes a lot of living literature.  The history for 9th grade covers the following areas spread out over 2 semesters and resulting in 5 papers, all different writing styles:

Colonial Times

Revolutionary War

Westward Expansion

Civil War

Recovery Period

World Wars

The textbook Christ & the Americas is used as spine to the course.  The literature choices are categorized by period studied and there are a couple hundred of them to choose from.  You only need 2-4 book choices per category and the Mother of Divine Grace syllabus for US History Geography contains the day by day break down and lists needed for the course.  A good Rand McNally or Hammond Atlas is also needed.

While the student is learning history through the eyes of fictional characters, or biographical sketches, they are also becoming informed, gathering insightful information that will serve to write their papers; they will be writing a variety of essays for this course.

Colonial period essay is written as a first person account

Revolutionary war essay is written as a conversation between two revolutionary war figures representing opposing sides

Westward Expansion is a narrative essay

Civil War is written using a controversial topic, where both sides of an argument are made and a judgment made about which side is right

Recovery period is a book report type of paper

World Wars paper is written expounding in factual detail on one of the World Wars

These papers range from 700 – 1100 words. 

This unique way of doing this history course really keeps it alive and engages the students at many levels.  It’s not about a dry textbook!  One reason I really like this course.


Between the science essay writing (2 per week), and the religion papers (at least one per week), the 9th grade Modg student is getting plenty of practice in writing papers.

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