• Overview


  • Fictional texts take reality and wrap it in extraordinary circumstances. Incorporating fictional text in all classes allows science teachers to encourage students to think "What if" or math teachers to discuss the probability of events or history teachers to critique the interpretation presented. Historical texts allow thinkers to imagine a time period, explore multiple perspectives and question the validity of a historical interpretation. Allowing them to pick their own historical fiction to read but building reading groups around key elements of the genre, students not only exercise historical thinking skills, but they also build their capacity to drawn connections between similar texts.


  • CCSS Alignment (Fiction)  RL 8.1 – 8.9


Places to Get Published




Reading Bookmarks




Great Historical Fiction




Great Global Fiction



(Time Periods) Gothic, Victorian, Westerns, etc. (Span) Epics, Event-based or Alternative Histories

Core Conflicts

Society vs. Society & Character vs. Society

Key Themes

Role of primary sources and artifacts; Social expectations and mores; Key historical influences; Historical figures

Typical Characters

Jekyll & Hyde; Don Juan; David and Goliath; Frankenstein’s monster; Herculean Caesar’s wife ; Machiavelli; Achilles; Pandora; Faust; Job ; Solomon

Plot Types

Mythology, Realistic Historical Fiction (real names and real events); General Historical Fiction (real events, but made-up characters); "Eye Witness" Reports; Documentaries; Biographies; News Reports (from the time period); Historical Reconstructions; How-to-Guide (based in a time period); Historical Figure Role Play


Objectives - Student will Create and/or Evaluate:

1. Historical scenes that connect to modern struggles

2. Social norms that influence character choices

3. Character motivations/reactions that match the period

4. Characters that struggle with their role in society

5. Believable characters true to their time period

6. By researching memoirs/diaries/biographies of the period

7. Scenes highlighting views on gender/race/social class

8. Character motivated by events in their period

9. A reconstruction of the period with detailed artifacts/events

10. Daily events from culture/time

11. An alternative take on historical events

12. Adding words/phrases from culture/time

13. Realistic flashbacks & detailed imagery

14. Scenes that highlight paradigm shifts

15. A climax that highlights struggles of the period

16. Societal events that complicate the plot

17. Authentic/diverse historical perspectives

18. Good storytelling balance with historical accuracy