Resources for Teachers

Through historical fiction, David [Tollen] has provided a valuable tool for teachers and students in their continuing quest to study the past.— Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year


This page offers lesson plans and other educational resources related to David Tollen’s writing — posted below and linked in orange text. The lesson plans offer ideas on using The Jericho River in class — particularly at the high school level (e.g., World History, Western Civilization). But you can easily adapt them for middle school or college students.

We plan to add additional resources soon, including lesson plans related to Secrets of Hominea (once it’s published) and lessons for middle school and college educators, related to both books.

You’re very welcome to use and adapt the resources below for your classroom or home-school setting. They’re all offered free of charge (under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, for the lessons).

If you have any lesson plans or other resources to contribute — including related artwork by students (or anyone) — please contact us!


As an educator, I recommend The Jericho River for anyone looking to enhance an ancient civilization curriculum.” — Pamela Pizzimenti, teacher and author of The River Whispers

[N]ot only was this book wonderfully entertaining, it was also a fabulous way to interest young people to learn more about the past, present, and possibly the future.” — Merwyden Suluai, 2010 American Samoa Teacher of the Year




THE JERICHO RIVER & WESTERN CIVILIZATION LESSON PLAN: Learning Exercises and Journal-as-You-Go — High School Version
This lesson plan calls on students to journal as they read The Jericho River and then to complete four additional writing and visual arts exercises related to the book.


DESIGN A LUMIN LESSON PLAN: Using Myth and The Jericho River to Understand Historic Societies — High School Version
This lesson plan calls on students to focus their imaginations on creating and describing a mythical creature based on the beliefs, values, and artwork of a past society (an exercise designed to appeal to most teens). The students, in other words, create the history-based mythical creatures found in The Jericho River: “lumins.”


BOAT DIORAMA FROM THE JERICHO RIVER LESSON PLAN: Building a Diorama to Understand Historic Societies — High School Version
This lesson plan calls on students to create a boat and a scene from a past society, in a diorama, based on the actual appearance and technology of that society. It also requires an oral or written description of the diorama and its place in history. Students imagine they’re visiting the historic society, like a character in The Jericho River.


Illustrations for use in class.