We find concrete material in works of fiction, as a rule, absent in manuals, - a situation and color of an era, well-aimed characteristics and details of life, the bright facts and the description of shape of people of the past. For example, that pupils of the seventh class have more a clear view of Yemelyan Pugachev's shape, I read a fragment from "The captain's daughter" of Pushkin.
But at selection of works of fiction for lessons of history it is necessary to consider two moments. First, informative and educational value of material (i.e. truthful statement of the historical phenomena). S. P. Borodin emphasized that fiction "has to be in limits of historical and household reliability." 1 Secondly, its high art value.
Works of fiction are recommended in all school textbooks at each course of history, are attracted as expressive material at lessons. And always the fiction serves for pupils to one of important sources for acquaintance with the historical past and one of effective remedies of their moral and esthetic education. You ask: "Why?" Yes because vivacity and concreteness of an artistic image increase picturesqueness of a narration and thus create more concrete historical representations at pupils.
It is slightly simpler to include images of fiction in a statement at a lesson. And then material of a work of art is perceived not as the literary quote, and as an inseparable element of a colourful statement. So, for example, at a lesson in the seventh class of the subject "Poltava Fight", describing turning point of battle, I always quote Pushkin:
To me never to forget widely opened children's eyes in which at this moment it was possible to read everything: admiration, fear, hatred, pride. And I wonder at this moment: "Unless could cause the school textbook in children such storm of feelings, such interest in a subject, such understanding?" And I answer myself: "Unfortunately, no."
Thus, the fiction illustrates scientific material of history, comments on it art plots, deepens understanding, excites a keen interest to the life phenomena, causing emotional experiences.
Not so long ago I began to use one more reception at the lessons. As a rule, at the repetitive generalizing lessons. Pupils receive a fragment from the literary work. And on it they have to call events or the historical figure. And to tell everything that they know of this event or the figure. For example:
It is necessary to bring up every time at lessons of history at pupils various relation to fictional works on historical subjects, on the one hand, and to literary monuments of an era - with another, to find historical material in these works, connecting its contents with the past events studied it is aware of history at school.
But reading big fragments at a lesson demands time. Therefore often I am limited to a reminder of a literary image the reference to the literary work familiar to the pupil. Thus the concrete image, an episode is precisely specified. Such references recover internal presentation of a statement, enrich perception of historical material, facilitate its comprehension by pupils.
It is necessary that pupils were able to distinguish these groups of works. And there has to be an accurate position of the teacher. For example, at a history lesson in the 8th class, giving the characteristic to Makaryevsky fair of the beginning of the XIX century, I will read a fragment: