Three History Lessons You Can Teach With Finding My Place

Final Finding My Place Cover

Here are three history/social studies lessons you can teach with Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg (my middle-grade, historical fiction novel). For more info on the novel, visit this page.

  • North VS South in the United States Civil War: Since the book takes place in Vicksburg, Mississippi, there are plenty of references to General Lee, General Grant, and the Yankees. You can use events in the book to start a discussion on the two sides of the war, what each side wanted, and tactics used by the North (as in trying to take Vicksburg to block Southern supplies going to the Gulf of Mexico). Although the book focuses on one city and one battle (a 47-day event!), it is an example of what happened all over the country during the Civil War.
  • Slavery: In the novel, Anna and her family have slaves and so do some of the other families. The book addresses racism and prejudice toward the slaves. It talks about how slaves weren’t allowed in the caves with the white folks, and how the slaves were the ones building the caves. It addresses how some people believed slavery was wrong and how slaves were escaping to the North. It also shows how Southerners relied on slaves, which is often a topic that is not addressed.
  • Daily Life During the 1860s: What was life like for people who lived in the 1860s? What did kids do for fun? How did they dress? What did they eat? How did they get around? Did they go to school? Because Finding My Place is historical fiction, the characters’ daily lives are on every page, and I researched this immensely!

If you’ve used this book in your classroom or home school, I would love to hear how you used it to teach children! Please leave a comment here, e-mail me at margo (at), or join my Facebook page at: and leave a comment.

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