Education initiatives require social studies, history, and civics teachers integrate multiple texts from diverse perspectives and English, reading, and language arts educators spend half their allotted time on non-fiction. The changes are not accompanied with ready-made curricula, which will likely increase the place of non-fiction trade books in various curricula. Historical misrepresentations appear in trade books, yet most topics have not been empirically examined. This inquiry explores trade books’ historical representation of immigration and immigrants’ experiences. The data pool was organized by books intended for students in Intermediate Elementary (3-5) and Middle Grades (6-8), which enabled consideration of spiraling and patterns of representation between grade ranges. Findings included patterns based on grade ranges (genre, integration of primary sources, and representation of immigrants’ motivation), historical misrepresentation (acclimation, Eurocentrism, and xenophobia), and blatant omission (business influence and historical connections to contemporary events). Findings have implications for classroom use, which include literacy circles and suggestions for specific books with topics of intrigue.
Bickford, John Holden and Meier, Stephanie J.
"Historical Representation of Immigration in Intermediate Elementary and Middle Grade Trade Books,"
The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies: Vol. 78
, Article 3.
Available at: https://thekeep.eiu.edu/the_councilor/vol78/iss2/3
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