Introduce the activity.
Explain to the students that they will be writing historical fiction. Ask
for examples of any such stories the students may have read or of historical
movies and TV programs that they've seen. Make a list of things authors
and filmmakers can do to convey a sense of what life was like during the
time being portrayed.
Discuss the importance of research in creating an accurate work
of historical fiction.
Ask students how authors and filmmakers can gather information when they
are writing novels or scripts set in the past. Point out that one crucial
element of good historical fiction is accurate research. Many authors of
historical fiction spend a great deal of time researching the era they're
writing about. They talk with experts, study historical documents, look
at pictures, read diaries and newspapers, and do whatever else is necessary
to obtain accurate information. Research helps authors get their facts straight
and gives them a feeling for the period they're writing about and for the
daily lives of the people who lived during that time. Explain to the students
that they will be using a museum exhibit as a source of factual information
for their stories.