Over the years, English teachers have often debated the merits of the teaching of history and literature together. If students know the story that inspired the literature, or should be left to students to make their own decisions about a literary work before knowing the historical context? Many schools offer classes in literature and history will be taken during the same semester, or who are co-taught by a professor of English and history together. Either way, knowledge of historical context can bring new perspective to a literary work, and important fiction can tell a lot about how they were viewed a specific period of time by his contemporaries. Teaching history with the help of primary sources (ie, fiction, nonfiction essays of the period of time, etc.) can also broaden the perspective of history rather than a textbook. Now some might argue that each subject gives new life to another, but there are many ways to do it.
Teaching Literature history before
Many teachers of English, if not combined with a history teacher, to start a unit, giving a historical context to students. This can be as simple as the explanation of censorship taking place during the Cold War before starting to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, a book on censorship in which books are burned to keep the public to know certain things. In this way, the book can be seen as a social commentary on the historical period during which it was written. This also means that events in the books, and history surrounding the book, you can compare to modern times, giving students a new perspective on the events around him in the real world.
Teaching literature to history
Some teachers want students to apply fiction to the real world before teaching them about why it was actually written. In the case of “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, for example, some teachers want their students to make their own decisions about why the leading lady, apparently lost his sanity before the students that the story was actually written at a time during which women had almost no rights and were totally controlled by their husbands. When students have some assumptions about something, it can be very interesting to open their minds by suggesting something about why the book was written. This can also work well if the teacher has access to an interview about the literature the author has given. After the students decide what the piece is about, have heard or read what the author thought that the piece was about and see if they match.
Understanding history can also help students understand why certain books have been banned over time. Huckleberry Finn, for example, is being challenged by the offensive words in the text. However, an understanding of history can teach students why these words were chosen first, and open debates about the only meaning of words and why they should or should not use them.
A combination of both
No matter what you teach, the incorporation of other subjects makes the rich learning experience for the student. It helps to strengthen the information and makes them think more about what they are reading to one side from simply identifying characters and plot points. Teaching history and literature in any combination can help all students make connections between our time and of times past, and help them learn to avoid repeating the mistakes of our predecessors.