Writing historical fiction: Spotlight on Family Tree

Family Tree

Did you know historical fiction is growing on your family tree?

Every young writer of historical fiction has plenty of inspiration just waiting to be plucked from his or her family tree. Family Tree enables students to harvest this vast crop by producing short (or long!) stories that are not only thoroughly researched and well-written, but heirlooms to be treasured by your family for generations to come.

Your Heritage

Perhaps you know very little about your ancestors. Or maybe you’ve heard a million family stories and own stacks of vintage photographs. Either way, author Jennifer Johnson Garrity provides your children with all the tools they need to craft a realistic, historically accurate story based closely (or loosely, as the case may be!) on your personal family tree.

The Workbook 

Presented in three phases—Research, Writing, and Editing—this easy-to-use workbook guides both you and your child through the process of gathering historical information, weaving fact and fiction together to create a plot, and then refining both content and style to fashion a unique and exciting work of fiction.

Chapters include General Research, Specific Research, Writing Your Story, and Editing Your Story, and include such elements as

  • Conducting interviews;
  • Blending fact and fiction;
  • Using historical research and photos;
  • Planning the story; and
  • Adding interesting sentence structure and vocabulary.

The guide is self directed for the high school or gifted writer, but there’s also an instructor’s guide and detailed schedule with extra tips and suggestions for homeschoolers working with younger or reluctant writers.

Supplementing Other Writing Programs

Published by BrimWood Press, Family Tree makes the perfect supplement to any writing program, though Garrity worked closely with us to ensure that her material was compatible with WriteShop. She has incorporated a number of WriteShop skills into both the lessons on writing style and the checklist itself. Take a peek at the Family Tree samples to view the checklist.

The workbook is designed to be consumable, but permission is granted for the purchasing family to make copies for multiple children and for multiple projects. Due to the vigor of the research phase, students will find a bountiful supply of family tales just waiting for pen and ink. Together, your children can build a treasured collection of family stories by reusing the curriculum as often as you like!

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