Objective: Chapter 1 The Sign of the Beaver is historical fiction that uses the late eighteenth century as a backdrop of an adventurous coming-of-age story. The objective of this lesson is to appreciate historical fiction as a genre that places particular demands and constraints on writers and to appreciate the popularity of Elizabeth George Speare as a writer of historical fiction.
1) CLASS DISCUSSION: Lead a discussion about the difference between historical fiction and fiction. Have students brainstorm ideas about why a writer who is going to write fiction chooses to root it in history. Is it because the writer already knows a lot about the period? Why not just write non-fiction if he/ she knows the time period? Does it have to be accurate if it is fiction? Might the choice of genre have something to do with the author's ultimate themes?
SHARE PAIRS Two students will work...
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