Open Access Graduate Research Paper
The purpose of this study was to analyze the treatment of complex issues of the American Civil War in a fifth grade social studies textbook and historical fiction novels, written for upper elementary readers. The study focused on slavery and racial issues, the stresses of war on families, and the aftermath of war.
A content analysis was conducted, using the fifth grade textbook information as a baseline for concepts to be learned. A sample of American Civil War historical fiction books was gathered using the following method: the H W Wilson's Middle School & Junior High Core Collection database was searched using the advanced option. The key words entered were United States Civil War, history, and fiction. The recommendation level chosen was Core Collection. Books with a publication year of 1999 or newer were selected. The grade levels criteria used were grades 3-8, which allowed for a variety of reading levels in upper elementary. Twenty-two books met the criteria; however one was removed because it lacked American Civil War details.
The study found that historical novels provide more details of the complexity of slavery and racial issues and the complexity of the stresses of war on families. However, the historical novels did not provide more details of the complexity of the aftermath of the war than the textbook.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Department of Library Science
1 PDF file (vi, 52 pages)
©2011 Gwen L. Van Dee
Van Dee, Gwen L., "A Content Analysis of American Civil War Historical Fiction for Upper Elementary Grades" (2011). Graduate Research Papers. 4065.