10-second review: Historical novels vs. history textbook. Alternative to work sheets in social studies. Free writing and organization.
Title: “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.” RL Larson and A Bechan. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1992), p. 211-234.
Historical Novels vs. History Textbook in Teaching the American Civil War in Social Studies. “Found no statistical difference in achievement between classes using a U.S. history textbook as a primary text and classes using three historical novels as a primary text to study the Civil War period. However, the literature group did show a statistically significant gain on interest indexes.” DJ Corbin. 1990, p.2 19. [Comment: Might at least gain student interest if using a novel about the Civil War along with the textbook. RayS.]
Alternative to Worksheets in Social Studies. “Suggests that teachers can replace worksheet activities with reading aloud of multicultural literature without a loss of achievement as assessed by traditional measures.” CL Rudney. 1990. P. 219. [Comment: All depends on the purpose for either activity as to its usefulness. RayS. ]
Freewriting and Organization. “Reports finding several identifiable organizational patterns in the freewritings. Discovers that these forms are those common in even the most serious published prose and suggests that the lifting of constraints in freewriting often results in ‘the discovery…of organization.’ ”RH Haswell. 1991. P. 221. [Comment: The model, not the literal format, of the five-paragraph essay is all any one needs in order to know how to organize expository writing. Why waste time trying to “discover” patterns of organization in free writing? Besides, the purpose of freewriting is to discover ideas not patterns of organization. RayS.].