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This Is Why I Cry

School: Pioneer Charter School

City/State: Fort Collins, CO

Grade(s): 8

Format(s): Character file: Historical

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts

Type(s): Narrative

Writing Assignment Description

Eighth grade students at Pioneer Charter School (now Polaris Expeditionary Learning School) in Fort Collins, Colorado created a historical character file as part of a learning expedition on slavery. The process took two months and included multiple drafts of writing and art work. Each file contains a portrait, a narrative/biography, a character map, a bibliography, and artifacts based on the character’s life.

How This Writing Can Be Useful

  • Historically accurate fictional narrative built from realistic character’s perspective
  • Highlights a format that allows for a deeply personalized account of an historical period
  • Thoughtful and skilled use of detail to increase reader engagement

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
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