Historical Fiction Creative Writing Assignments

For example, a teenage girl in a story set in Texas in the 1950s might befriend rock and roll star Buddy Holly, while an overworked mother in the 1930s Dust Bowl might try to petition President Franklin Roosevelt for help as he passes through her hometown on a campaign stop.

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They also learn or review the process of examining primary sources for the kind of detail that supports a story's development.

Finally, students work throughout the unit to research their family's history, using all resources available to them: oral histories, letters and diaries, photo albums, Internet-based genealogical search tools, and the like.

This five- to six-week unit engages students in the study of historical fiction and culminates with them developing and sharing a piece of historical fiction that is based on one of their own family's stories or artifacts.

The unit opens with students using the concept attainment method (see Glossary, page 350) to develop a working definition of historical fiction.

In cooperative groups comprising representatives from each of the literature circles, students identify and analyze the criteria for historical fiction and develop a rubric that they use to evaluate their own work.

By reading and watching interviews of well-known authors in the genre, students develop an understanding of the discipline of writing historical fiction and the process authors use to develop their craft.” but, “How can I engage my students in thoughtful work?” The standards prompt me to step back and consider my real goals: to help my students to develop lifelong critical literacy skills.In historical fiction, the fictional story line often symbolically reflects the plot's real-life setting.In Markus Zuzak's "The Book Thief," for example, young Liesel's desire for the knowledge found in books is pitted against the widespread censorship and propaganda of Nazi Germany.Many historical events have perspectives that are underrepresented or unexplored in literature.Write your story from the point of view of a character who experiences a side of the story's true events that frequently goes untold.Students then work in heterogeneous literature circles in a reader's workshop environment to discuss, react to, and analyze a novel of their choice: Roots by Alex Haley, Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Allende, Cane River by Lalita Tademy, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, or The Storyteller's Daughter by Jean Thesman.Each of these novels, listed in order from most challenging to least challenging, uses a distinct cultural perspective to tell the story of a family's evolution.For example, a story set in the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma might describe a family's one-room cabin on a lonely, desolate prairie, while a Cold War-era plot might paint a picture of the confined space of a family's backyard bomb shelter.Try looking at historical photos of your selected setting for visual details that can enhance its realism.


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