Yesterday I met with Ms. Thomas to come up with a good way to transition from fiction to nonfiction in her Language Arts classes. I think the resulting project will be great to see executed.
The students are reading the novel Stand Tall by Joan Bauer. In the book, the main character helps his grandfather recover after he has a leg amputated. In the process, he learns about his grandfather’s experiences during the Vietnam War. To transition from fiction to nonfiction, the students will select an event mentioned by the grandfather in the book and conduct some research. Based on the research, the students will write a newspaper article as if the event had just happened. Then they will adapt the newspaper article to film a news segment for a television show.
I really like this project because the students will explore the differences in the portrayal of a historical event in a fictional context, then in a nonfiction context meant for an audience to read, and agin in a context meant for an audience to listen and watch. There have to be stylistic differences in how information is presented and how detailed the language must be.
Look for samples of the newspaper articles and the news reports in a few weeks on Ms. Thomas’s blog.