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This paper describes fifth-graders engagement associated with a curriculum intervention focused on the interdisciplinary (history, literacy, and the visual arts) teaching about issues 15th and 16th century migration. I address the question: In what ways do students demonstrate engagement about larger historical themes (e.g. interaction, treatment of others)? In order to answer this question, I observed a fifth-grade classroom over an eight-week period and documented student interactions in field notes. Students demonstrated procedural and substantive engagement during this instructional unit.