Fact or Fiction: Analyzing why the Author includes Truth in Fiction and the Influence and Effect on the Audience

byMichelle Hilbeck

Why is the "created" reality of a fictional work more compelling to us as readers than the world we live in? I want my students to investigate and answer by the conclusion of my unit. My students can distinguish between fact and fiction. However, they do not analyze the text and readily accept what the author states to be authentic. They do not question the author's motives and create their own conclusions or make personal connections. In using a science-fiction story "All Summer in a Day" and historical fiction novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, my goal in the unit is to create analytical thinkers who question and create logical conclusions about the author's motives for writing a piece of fiction. I also want them to analyze their reactions and the personal connections they make with the fictional piece. Ultimately with this unit, I want my students to inquire why so many people willingly accept and connect to these fictional worlds; I want the students to identify the 'truth' that is included and why the author uses this element to make the connection more powerful.

(Developed for English/Language Arts, grade 6; recommended for English/Language Arts, grades 6-8)

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