HISTORICAL FICTION FROM ARTIFACT
© Pegi Deitz Shea
While doing “country profiles” in social studies, you come across artifacts of a culture: Ukrainian painted eggs, Guatemalan trouble dolls, engraved Chinese chopsticks, etc. Using artifacts to generate stories can help you get students’ “hands-on” a culture. This workshop I’ve been using for years for multicultural fiction writing can also be used for historical fiction writing. The artifacts (bought at Sturbridge) come from the American Revolutionary era, but you can pick any era and its artifacts. Depending on the number of artifacts available, students can write their own stories, or help write a group story. As always, model each step first for students, with an artifact in your hands. Feel free to use whatever writing process model you’re comfortable and successful with.
3. Groups brainstorm and record ideas about the artifact’s appearance, use or meaning. Encourage students to apply all their senses to “know” the artifact, and write down their descriptions, impressions, adjectives, etc. of the artifact.
8. Write away, and then use my ABCs of Revision to rewrite.