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Young Adult Historical Fiction in the Middle Grades Social Studies Classroom: Can Literature Increase Student Interest and Test Scores?

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This research study explores the correlation between the purposeful inclusion of young adult historical fiction novels and middle school students’ academic achievement and attitudes towards social studies. The researchers designed an afterschool program for 6th grade students to voluntarily participate in a book club about ancient Greece. A group of sixth grade students met after school once per week for six weeks to discuss related novels and how the texts portrayed Greek culture. Pre and post interest surveys and tests were evaluated, and student quizzes and unit tests were compared to previous assessments. Data analysis indicated an improvement in both student interest and test scores after participation in the intervention.
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Keywords: action research; literacy; literature circles; social studies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Learning and Teaching is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal providing a forum for discussion and analysis of the latest educational research on innovative approaches to classroom pedagogy and learning in the global culture. Articles are chosen for their originality, readability, and accessibility to wide audience of educational researchers, classroom-teachers, educational administrators and curriculum coordinators.
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