Objective: Winter 1934, This novel is in the historical fiction genre. The objective of this lesson is to understand historical fiction.
1) Lead the class in a discussion of historical fiction. Have the students compare and contrast the real life of Billie Jo and her family with that of people who actually lived during this dust bowl period in Oklahoma. What similarities do they find? What differences do they see? How closely does the author mirror the real people of Oklahoma? What liberties does he take with the fictional Billie Jo?
Divide the class into small groups and have them research the concept of historical novels. Historical fiction is usually based on events which have occurred in the distant past. Why would Karen Hesse be drawn to this topic? Why did she feel the need to bring Billie Jo to life? Explore Karen Hesse's background to understand her motivations...
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