Monday, April 21, 2014

On Using ORPHAN TRAIN to Teach History and Tolerance

Orphan Train By Christina Baker KlineChristina Baker Kline’s #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train has been having a wonderful year in academic adoptions: to date, it has been chosen as a common read at Richard Stockton College, Edgewood College, and a high school in Waynesville, Missouri! And now Teaching Tolerance—a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center—has posted tips on how to use Orphan Train to teach history and tolerance in high school classrooms.

They write:

"In the classroom, this book can be used to illustrate discrimination against the Irish in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century, and to reveal the complexity of a period of midcentury history that is often overlooked. The book can be used to teach about why understanding the past is relevant—and necessary—to understanding the present. . . . Additionally, it offers two strong female protagonists who forge their own ways despite the odds stacked against them. Orphan Train is ripe with opportunities for discussion, further research and developing the complex thinking necessary to draw historical parallels."

To check out student comprehension and research prompts for language arts and social studies classrooms, please click here!

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