St. Nicholas Report Essay
Grades: College level writing, literature, or cultural studies
Subjects: Childrens literature, history, writing
Lesson Summary: Students read through several months of the 19th-century periodical St. Nicholas (a monthly publication) and write a report explaining what the materials contain, and how that relates to childrens literature and culture.
1.) Learn about childrens literature and culture.
2.) Learn about using archival, historical sources.
3.) Write a descriptive analysis.
Read through and report on about six months' worth of the 19th-century periodical St. Nicholas (a monthly publication), easily the most important children's magazine of the nineteenth century, perhaps still the most important.
Students will each read a six-month period in a given year, and will look at the volumes in the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in Library East or in the University of Floridas Digital Collections and will write an essay. The essay should offer a descriptive analysis of St. Nicholas as a children's magazine based on the issues the class has examined, focusing questions of narrative, textual sophistication, audience, and whatever else seems appropriate. Students will need to choose some kind of organizing argument or observation that they can then support by examples. Students will probably want to provide an overview and then concentrate on two or three features that seem indicative of the magazine's purpose and nature.
5-7 pp. double-spaced.