Academic journal article The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Sciences

Representation of the Titanic in Children's Literature

Academic journal article The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Sciences

Representation of the Titanic in Children's Literature

Article excerpt

March 2019

Introduction

The sailing of the Titanic and its shocking demise intrigue readers to research more information. Written in young adult literature through various viewpoints, the Titanic's story has a natural inquiry base due to its uncertainty. Trade books in the elementary classroom are increasing in use due to the state and national initiatives encouragement in using diverse texts. By using these texts, teachers allow students to analyze the various representations given to the Titanic's history. In the subsequent sections, I review history-based curricula and historical significance of the Titanic. The methods of implementation are projected to inform teachers about the various selection of supplemental classroom resources.

Literature Review

The goal of the College, Career, and Civic Life for Social Studies State Standards (2012) (C3, hereafter) Framework is to get students ready for life beyond the required years of school, whether they be college bound or entering into the workforce. The C3 Framework embodies college, career, and civic life throughout the teaching of social studies. It grants what social studies should look like in this day and age in the classroom. Within the social studies realm and C3 Framework, students are being provided opportunities to learn actively about their citizenship. It also encourages students to inquire about topics and provide evidence-based arguments regarding their findings (Council of Chief State School Officers [CCSSO, hereafter], 2012).

The Common Core State Standards aim at outlining what students should be able to do by the completion of each grade. The standards are clear goals and expectations that students use to demonstrate their new knowledge and skills in the English language arts and mathematics content areas. The goal is for students to be prepared and successful for college, career, and life beyond the required school years. The standards are set up to provide students with real-world applications. With the implementation of the Common Core, informational texts are now increased within the teachings of English language arts teachers (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers [NGA & CCSSO], 2010). With the increase, teachers incorporate engaging, thought-provoking, as well as age-appropriate, texts that target student interest. While textbooks have a long tradition and are a basis for most teachings (McMurrer, 2008), children's literature and informational texts have increased in prominence. Accompanied with textbooks, they can provide accurate information and are written at various grade levels so teachers can accommodate students of very different abilities. Trade books can connect social studies and English language arts content areas, given the new requirements (Bickford, Schuette, & Rich, 2015; Sanchez, 1994; Weaver, 2013). The state and national initiatives are a starting point for teachers to target students to take part in close-reading from diverse perspectives. Identifying the purpose in reading for information is a critical lesson in improving motivation to read (Fisher & Frey, 2010; Mercurio, 1999; Sanchez, 1994; Weaver, 2013). Within the Common Core (NGA & CCSSO, 2010), no specific texts are required, so it is up to the discretion of the district, school, and teacher to choose.

Selecting quality curricular materials is problematic. Research has been conducted to assess historical accuracy among textbooks, but there is little information regarding the assessment of children's trade books (Chick, 2006; Clark, Allard, & Mahoney, 2004; Lindquist, 2009; Loewen, 2007; Matusevich, 2006). Furthermore, finding information regarding the topic of the sinking of the Titanic is difficult. At the time of this writing, there appears to be no content analysis research on how the Titanic is historically represented within history-based curricula. …

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