L-W North Students Use Childrens Books to Study History
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lincoln-Way North students turned to childrens books last week as part of a lesson comparing modern day American culture and values to those of the 1800s as part of a lesson in their Advanced Placement U.S. History course.

Students read 1800s era stories such as The Busy Bee Primer, The Mother at Home, and The Life of George Washington.

The stories taught students about the characteristics of ideal family members in the early 1800s, said Britt Christensen, AP U.S. History teacher at Lincoln-Way North. For example, good boys should be polite and well-spoken and good girls should be quiet and clean and help their mothers. The stories all stressed conformity, roles and expectations during that time period.

For the present day examples, students read books such as The Little Engine That Could, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and discussed the lessons and values imparted by the books. Lessons discussed included the importance of eating healthy, not giving up, and appreciating what is given to you.

Students really got into the storytelling because it helped them think outside the box and ask important questions about the culture of the 1800s, said Christensen.