Brave Writer

High School Writing: Historical Fiction builds upon fascination with old newspaper clippings, family photographs, diaries, recipe books, and advertisements to fuel fiction writing situated in the past. Students learn to mine these original sources for story ideas as they create short original works. Of particular interest in this type of writing and this class:


Week One

Students begin with an investigation of primary source material (including old family photos!) as they brainstorm story ideas and research historical details.

Week Two

Attention turns to character development and setting this week. Students explore unique challenges to situating a character in a historically accurate past. 

Week Three

This week, students plan the story arc and then write their short story draft (800-1200 words). Particular focus is on authentic dialogue and narrator point of view.

Week Four

Students take their projects through a guided round of revision (including a focus on fact-checking for historical accuracy) and editing. They emerge with a story worth sharing with family members or a larger audience!

Common Core and Academic Standards Support

What follows is a word bank and set of skills associated with this class. Use them to craft your own learning narrative for use in year-end evaluations, charter school reports, or any other accountability source.

Word Bank

  • Anachronism
  • Bias
  • Character
  • Chronological reasoning
  • Dialogue
  • Editing
  • Historical interpretation
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Primary sources
  • Revision
  • Research
  • Setting
  • Story arc
  • Vivid detail
  • Writing voice

Core Skills

  • Analyze source texts and apply critical thinking
  • Craft an accurate historical setting 
  • Craft descriptions with vivid historical detail
  • Edit writing for standard English usage
  • Identify key events and historical context
  • Identify point of view
  • Revise writing for clarity, flow, order, interest, and economy of language
  • Study narrative arc: action, background, development, climax, resolution
  • Utilize dialogue, dress, behavioral descriptions accurate to an era
  • Utilize distinct writer’s voice
  • Write detailed, organized, structured original narratives