The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire: The Use of Primary Sources for Writing Historical Fiction



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The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire: The Use of Primary Sources for Writing Historical Fiction




Barbara Fisher

Grove Elementary School

McLean County Unit 5




Summer 2013



Library of Congress,

Geography and Map Division.


This unit is designed to develop students’ nonfiction text reading skills and build understanding of how authors research and use nonfiction text as the basis for writing historical fiction. Students will analyze a number of primary sources from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire and practice close reading text strategies through the reading of various eyewitness accounts of the historic event. Students will observe the factual information used from primary sources by an author of a historical picture book and then write their own historical picture book of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire based on an eyewitness account.
Overview/ Materials/LOC Resources/Standards/ Procedures/Evaluation/Rubric/Handouts/Extension


Overview Back to Navigation Bar

Objectives

Students will:

  • Read and analyze primary sources of photographs, videos, maps, and personal accounts using online resources from Library of Congress and Awesome Stories websites.
  • Summarize a nonfiction text.


  • Compare and contrast the factual information within an eyewitness account to the factual information shared within a historical picture book based on the same event.

  • Use information gathered from an eyewitness account and other primary sources to write a historical fiction picture book.

Recommended time frame

15 days

Grade level

5th

Curriculum fit

Literacy, Technology

Materials

Photographs: see resource table

  • “Spectators sitting on hillside watching fires consume the city after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.”

  • “People sitting in street in front of ruins from earthquake, San Francisco, California”

Maps: see resource table

  • Map of part of San Francisco, California, April 18, 1908

Videos: see resource table

  • Unidentified Staples & Charles. No. 1, San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of 1906

  • San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906

Worksheets:

  • Copies of Primary Source Analysis Tool for students: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/resources/Primary_Source_Analysis_Tool.pdf
  • Teacher’s Guide for Analyzing Photographs and Prints


Eyewitness Account Text:

  • “Memories of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire” by DeWitt C. Baldwin found within Awesome Stories website. www.awesomestories.com

  • Additional eyewitness accounts of 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire found within www.awesomestories.com.

Picture Book:

  • April 18, 1906 - A Day that Changed America: Earthquake! by Shelley Tanaka. Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.

Illinois Learning Standards/Common Core Back to Navigation Bar




CCSS.English Language Arts and Literacy
Reading Informational Text

  • RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • RI.5.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • RI.5.5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.



  • RI.5.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.


  • RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Writing Standards

  • W.5.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

  • W.5.3.a Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

  • W.5.3.b Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.

  • W.5.3.c Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.

  • W.5.3.d Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

  • W.5.3.e Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

  • W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

  • W.5.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.5.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.


  • W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources: summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

Speaking and Listening Standards

  • SL.5.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • SL5.1d Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.

  • SL5.2 Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Procedures Back to Navigation Bar




Day One:

  • Display on Smart Board the photograph: “Spectators sitting on hillside watching fires consume the city after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.”

*Note: Do not reveal the title of the photograph or reference the San Francisco earthquake/fire of 1906 so students may develop a greater array of questions and inferences.
  • Hand each student a Primary Source Analysis Tool worksheet. To guide students in recording their observations, reflections and questions, use the Teacher’s Guide Analyzing Photographs & Prints.


  • Have students “Pair and Share” their ideas from the worksheet. As teacher listens to partners share, he/she records student ideas on anchor chart that follows format of the “Primary Source Analysis Tool” worksheet.

  • Display on Smart Board the second photograph: “People sitting in street in front of ruins from earthquake, San Francisco, California”

*Note: Once again, do not reveal the title of the photograph or reference the San Francisco earthquake/fire of 1906.

  • Hand each student another “Primary Source Analysis Tool” worksheet to record their observations, reflections, and questions regarding the photograph.

  • Refer students back to the first two photographs viewed from Day One lesson. Discuss and then have students “Pair and Share” their ideas from the worksheet. As teacher listens in on partner groups, he/she records student ideas on anchor chart that follows format of the “Primary Source Analysis Tool” worksheet.

  • As a whole class, discuss the ideas recorded for both photograph analysis anchor charts and any other important ideas discussed in student partner groups but not yet recorded on chart.

  • Finally, reveal (or confirm) the two photographs were taken from the San Francisco earthquake/fire of 1906. Show students on Smart Board a map of the four square mile area affected the most by the earthquake/fires: Map of part of San Francisco, California, April 18, 1908

Day Two:
  • Hand each student a copy of the eyewitness account text: “Memories of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire” by DeWitt C. Baldwin.. This account is found within Awesome Stories website. www.awesomestories.com.


  • Inform students they will be performing the first close read of the text by stopping after each paragraph and writing the main idea of the paragraph in the left-hand margin. Model this close reading skill with the paragraphs on the first page of the eyewitness account.

  • Instruct partner groups to continue the close read of the eyewitness account by working together to read and write the main idea of each paragraph in the left-hand margin.

  • Show Parts 1, 2, and 3 video footage of San Francisco earthquake effects in the areas mentioned within the DeWitt’s C. Baldwin’s eyewitness account: Unidentified Staples & Charles. No. 1, San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of 1906

Day Three

  • Using the first page of the DeWitt C. Baldwin’s eyewitness account text, model with students how to combine the main idea notes in the left-hand margins to create a summary of the text.

  • Instruct partner groups to continue to summarize the remaining text using their main idea notes from Day Two.

  • How do the photographs relate to events mentioned within DeWitt’s C. Baldwin’s eyewitness account. Show another video footage (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) of San Francisco earthquake effects: San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906

Day Four
  • Share an overview of the Shelley Tanaka’s picture book April 18, 1906 A Day That Changed America: Earthquake! Discuss with students the book’s historical nonfiction text features of photographs, pictorial maps, and diagrams related to the San Francisco earthquake/fire. In addition, discuss how the author incorporated four eyewitness accounts, including the account of DeWitt C. Baldwin, to develop the picture book.


  • Read aloud to students pages 13, 14, 15, 28, 29, and 30 of April 18, 1906 A Day That Changed America: Earthquake! These pages focus on the story of DeWitt C. Baldwin.

  • Instruct students to perform a second close read of the DeWitt C. Baldwin’s eyewitness account. This time partner groups will highlight parts of the account that are incorporated within the historical fiction picture book: April 18, 1906 A Day That Changed America: Earthquake! Students will need to be provided with copies of pages 13, 14, 15, 28, 29, and 30 from the book to more closely analyze the two texts.

  • As a whole class, discuss student analysis of what nonfiction text from the eyewitness account was used by the author as well as how the author quoted information accurately from the text. Next discuss what the author created or added to the DeWitt C. Baldwin’s story that was not found within his eyewitness account. Create a two-column anchor chart (Factual Events/Fictional Events) for ideas generated from whole class discussion. Discuss reasons for the author creating or adding the extra information.

Days Five through Fifteen

  • Review with students the plot line of the DeWitt C. Baldwin story within the picture book. Inform students they will be creating a historical fiction picture book of another San Francisco eyewitness account.

  • Instruct students to choose a different eyewitness account to the San Francisco Earthquake/Fire from the www.awesomestories.com website. Students will independently perform a close read of the account using the “main idea of each paragraph” strategy practiced on Day Two.
  • Next, students will develop a plot line for their book identifying what information from the eyewitness account they will choose to incorporate and what plot elements will be created from their own minds.


  • Students will then work through the publishing process of writing a picture book rough draft, revising, editing, and creating final draft complete with text features of photographs, maps, diagrams, etc. Students can use www.loc.gov website to search for text features that specifically relate to the locations and events mentioned within the eyewitness account used for the basis of their picture book.

  • Note: Throughout these days, the teacher will be using the Readers/Writers’ Workshop mini-lesson time periods to review literary elements which students need to consider when writing and revising their historical fiction picture book. These mini-lessons could include: point of view, character and setting development, figurative language and the use of specific nouns and vivid verbs, dialogue, revising/editing techniques, etc.




Evaluation Back to Navigation Bar




Students will be evaluated on:

  • Historical Fiction Picture Book Rubric

Extension Back to Navigation Bar



  • Students can read historical fiction novels based on the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake/Fire. The reading of these books may be done within Literature Circle or Book Club formats. Books will be chosen by student interest and appropriate reading levels. Possible titles include:


  1. I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 (I Survived Series #5) by Lauren Tarshis.

  2. Quake!: Disaster in San Francisco, 1906 by Gail Karwoski

  3. Surviving the San Francisco Earthquake: Illustrated History by Jo Cleland

  4. Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906 by Deborah Hopkinson

  5. Earthquake At Dawn by Kristiana Gregory

  • Students can use the Awesome Stories or Library of Congress websites to read other eyewitness accounts from other historical events. Students can write and publish another historical fiction picture book.


Primary Resources from the Library of Congress

Back to Navigation Bar

Image

Description

Citation

URL



Spectators sitting on hillside watching fires consume the city after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Genthe, Arnold. Spectators sitting on hillside watching fires consume the city after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. 1906. Viewpoints; a selection from the pictorial collections of the Library of Congress .... Washington : Library of Congress ..., 1975, no. 129. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007681309/


http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007681309/




People sitting in street in front of ruins from earthquake, San Francisco, California

People sitting in street in front of ruins from earthquake, San Francisco, California. c1906. Copyright by Leo G. Altmayer. H77088 U.S. Copyright Office. LC-USZ62-96790 (b&w film copy neg.) Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/89709554/


http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/89709554/




Map of part of San Francisco, California, April 18, 1908: showing buildings constructed and buildings under construction during two years after fire of April 18, 1906.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/gmd:@field(NUMBER+@band(g4364s+ct001848))




Unidentified Staples & Charles. No. 1, San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of 1906] / [production company unknown].

Unidentified Staples & Charles. No. 1, San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of 1906] / [production company unknown]. Late April, 1906. Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire:

Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916. Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/papr:@field(NUMBER+@band(lcmp003+24351s3))


http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/papr:@field(NUMBER+@band(lcmp003+24351s3))




San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906 /

San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906 / [production company unknown]. Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire:
Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916.
1906?.Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/papr:@field(NUMBER+@band(lcmp003+03734s4))

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/papr:@field(NUMBER+@band(lcmp003+03734s4))




Rubric

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Student _____________________________ Book Title ________________________________

Historical Fiction Picture Book Rubric




10 points

8 points

6 points

4 points

Historical Content

It is evident the author researched the historical facts of the time period through primary sources and included a number of accurate facts fluidly throughout the story’s plotline.

It is evident the author researched the historical facts of the time period through primary sources. A number of accurate facts are included in the story, but they are not naturally embedded within the story’s plotline.

There is some evidence the author researched the historical facts of the time period through primary sources although facts may be presented inaccurately within the story’s plotline and/or are not naturally embedded within the story’s plotline.

Little or no evidence the author researched the historical facts of the time period through primary sources. Little to no facts are presented accurately within the story’s plotline and/or are not naturally embedded within the story’s plotline.

Historical Fiction Genre

The story includes a strong human interest to the historical content. Emotions or situations we can relate to as human beings are depicted in the story.

The story attempts to include a strong human interest to the historical content. Emotions or situations we can relate to as human beings are attempted to be depicted in the story.


The story includes a human interest to the historical content but little emotions or situations we can relate to as human beings are depicted in the story.

The story lacks a human interest to the historical content and does not include any reference to human emotion or situations.

Story Element Development

* Strongly developed main character through description of actions, appearances, feelings, or dialogue.

* Strongly developed plot with a beginning, a buildup, a climax, and satisfying ending.

* Strongly developed story that works toward depicting a theme.


* Strong attempt to develop main character through description of actions, appearances, feelings, or dialogue.

* Strong attempt to develop plot with a beginning, a buildup, a climax, and satisfying ending.

* Strong attempt to develop story that works toward depicting a theme.


* Little development of main character through description of actions, appearances, feelings, or dialogue.

* Attempt to develop plot with a beginning, a buildup, a climax, and satisfying ending.

* Attempt to develop story toward depicting a theme is evident.


* No development of main character through description of actions, appearances, feelings, or dialogue.

* Plotline missing some aspect(s) of a beginning, a buildup, a climax, and satisfying ending.



* Story lacks a theme.




3 points

2 points


1 point

Sentence Fluency

The writing shows a very strong attempt to begin sentences in different ways and vary the length and structure of sentences.

The writing shows an attempt to begin sentences in different ways and vary the length and structure of sentences.

The writing shows little attempt to begin sentences in different ways and vary the length and structure of sentences.

Word Choice

The writing shows a very strong attempt to substitute more vivid, descriptive words for everyday words.

The writing shows an attempt to substitute more vivid, descriptive words for everyday words.

The writing shows little attempt to substitute more vivid, descriptive words for everyday words.

Mechanics

No indentation, capitalization, paragraphing, or punctuation errors.

Few indentation, capitalization, paragraphing, or punctuation errors.

Many indentation, capitalization, paragraphing, or punctuation errors.




2 points

1 point

Spelling/Grammar

Most of the words are spelled correctly and used grammatically correctly and allows the reader to easily understand the text.


The number of spelling and grammar errors in the text interferes with the reader’s understanding of the text.

Points: ___________/41

Comments:
Handouts

Back to Navigation Bar



  • Primary Source Analysis Tool for students (online version) http://www.loc.gov/teachers/primary-source-analysis-tool/




  • Primary Source Analysis Tool for students (pdf version)

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/resources/Primary_Source_Analysis_Tool.pdf


  • Primary Source Analysis Teacher Guides

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/guides.html


  • Teacher Guide – Analyzing Photographs and Prints

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/resources/Analyzing_Photographs_and_Prints.pdf






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Illinois State University



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