Historical Fiction: Grades 2-4
In this suspenseful tale, Murphy and Sally are brought together by fate and they always protect each other in the face of danger. This dynamic duo is driven not only by a need to survive, but by a fierce love and loyalty for one another.
This action-packed story demonstrates the power of friendship, loyalty, love, and perseverance, while also conveying historical information about the gold rush itself. Historical fiction can help students to realize that learning—no matter what the subject matter—can be fun. Try the following assignment with your class after reading Murphy, Gold Rush Dogtogether. This activity may also work well when reviewing social studies lessons for the semester or quarter.
  •   Ask your students what other history lessons they remember from the semester so far.
  •  Ask each student to write down the historical topic that they enjoyed learning about the most.
  • Once everyone has chosen a topic, explain to the class that they will write a story about a fictional character during their chosen time period.
  • Suggest that the students use any notes or handouts from their chosen unit
  • Encourage imagination and creativity in creating a fictional story within a true one.


This assignment will provide practice in both social studies and writing. If time allows, students might also visit their school library or computer lab as a class to research their chosen topic.