Home Sweet Home by Winslow Homer
I taught Robert W. Chambers’ The Pickets many times and found it a great story for 8th graders – either as an entry into other CW topics or as a stand alone unit. I’ve refined that unit and put it on TPT. I checked with Perfection Learning (who published the story in “A House Divided”, their excellent CW anthology) and determined that it’s in the public domain. I included extensive excerpts from it and included links to the complete text of the story. Please take a look when you have a chance.
Shiloh Church – “the log-built one”
Herman Melville never knew that he was one of America’s greatest writers and would become a world literary figure. Disappointed by the poor reception his novels initially received, he became a customs inspector and turned his literary focus to poetry. He expected to be remembered, if at all, as a poet. Moby Dick insured that this would never happen.
Melville volunteered in hospitals during the Civil War. His experiences with the wounded – their suffering and their bravery – greatly influenced him and resulted in some great American poems. One of these is Shiloh.
I’ve created some activities (common core, of course!) for teachers to use with students when they consider this poem. I’m pleased with what I’ve made and hope that the structures I’ve provided will open Shiloh for young people. It’s a good poem and needs to be read. It’s message of reconciliation and sharing of common ground is one Americans need to ponder. Here’s a link to my plans:
This unit was endorsed by the Civil War Trust Teachers Regiment, by the by.
My Lulu Garlic, Contraband was recently recorded and broadcast by KVPR, an NPR affiliate. It is now available as a free podcast and is fifty minutes in length. Here is the link:
The story includes both Harriet Tubman and Abraham Lincoln as main characters. It details events from the last year of our Civil War. Teachers, should you wish to have your students listen to it, I’ve provided listening logs, directed reading assignments, reciprocal teaching assignments and three poster options. I think both the story and the assignments are suitable for 8th graders and up. All are free and here is the link:
I’ve long venerated Tony Hillerman’s writing, even before we met at a conference at Asilomar many years ago. I feel especially honored, therefore, that Dawn Drums was awarded the 2014 Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction by the New Mexico Book Awards. I’m humbled and very, very pleased!
Son Jeremy and I walked over the battlefield at Gettysburg on a mild June evening in 2009. I recorded my thoughts in a journal and would like to share them on the 150th anniversary of the battle. Beryl Belsky, editor of The Writer’s Drawer, has published my remarks. The link is below.