S.T.E.A.M. Projects and Historical Fiction

Sunday, September 15th, 2019     Marie Sontag     Start the Conversation

I just completed the S.T.E.A.M. projects that will accompany chapters in my latest work in progress, tentatively titled, California Trail Discovered. S.T.E.A.M. stands for the subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Educators are asked to include activities relating to these subjects in their daily lessons, using them as access points to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

As a former middle school teacher, I understand the time and energy constraints that come with the job. That’s why I’ve created S.T.E.A.M. lessons teachers can use as their students read California Trail Discovered in either language arts or social studies classes. Utilizing the engineering design process, the accompanying S.T.E.A.M. projects relate to the story’s setting while also fostering student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking in the S.T.E.A.M. areas.

With the S.T.E.A.M. lessons now complete, this week I’ll query agents to represent my middle-grade historical fiction book,  California Trail Discovered, as well as book two in the series geared for YA readers, Yosemite Discovered.

In book one, thirteen-year-old Daniel Whitcomb’s parents are killed in a mysterious house fire. Believing their deaths were not accidental, Daniel vows to bring his parents’ murderers to justice. First, however, he must survive the perils of having to travel West with his guardian before he can once again find his way back home. While on the trail to California, Daniel, a fictional character, becomes friends with the historical figure of Virginia Reed, one of the survivors of the Donner Party. The struggles Daniel experiences on the trail cause him to question the true meaning of family.

In book two, Yosemite Discovered, Daniel accompanies his guardian, the historical character of James Savage, to the goldfields where Jim hopes to strike it rich. Daniel just wants to earn enough money to get back to Illinois. However, when the miners and Indians clash in the goldfields, Jim and Daniel discover more than just Yosemite Valley.

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