There are so many ways to connect reading and writing! I love that I finally am teaching Humanities and I get to really focus on these two subjects (while also integrating history and current events). Below are a few ways in which I have done this in my classroom.
Historical Fiction Reading and Writing
This might be my favorite unit to teach to students. I will use the example of how I use this to also teach about the civil rights movement as that is what I am doing with my students now.
Students learn how to write historical fiction by weaving in fact and fiction
Students learn how to read nonfiction and informational texts
To Prep: First, I know it's super important to have model texts to share with kids so they know what the expectations are, the different styles, etc. So I raid the local libraries and gather all the historical fiction pictures books I can get. These get displayed around the classroom and used during lessons.
I write my own historical fiction story and use it as a model during the writing lessons.
I gather informational texts, websites and articles that relate to the topic I am researching to use as I model through the lessons.
Before I am able to teach my students how to write their historical fiction books, I need to first teach them how to write research. I created an entire process for this and love how while I am introducing to them the different events during the civil rights movement, they are simply taking notes on things that interest them, surprise them and/or questions they have about the topic. I do this because I want the kids to notice what interests them because soon they will be choosing a topic to research.
Once a topic is chosen, I walk them through the research process by researching my own topic. I may choose a topic no one else is learning about or I may choose one and assign that same topic to my students who need lots of teacher support. The choice is yours as far as how you want to structure it. When I taught third grade, we all did the same three topics (land, animals and culture), but they each chose their own state.
Once the research unit is complete, students then start to learn how to write their historical fiction picture book.
Throughout all of this, the students are constantly learning new information about their historical event as well as how to research and write. Students are learning how to read and utilize informational text, how to organize their research and how to create a story that teaches their audience about the topic.
Not sure where to start with the Historical Fiction Picture Book?
6th grade Humanities Teacher, Writer, Resource Creator, Curriculum and Course Developer