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Write a Work of Fiction

Students will collect facts about Devil's Kettle Falls. Then they will write a fictional story explaining how and why the river disappears, incorporating just enough scientific facts to make readers wonder if the tale could be true.

PROCESS:

  1. Inform the class that works of fiction contain different elements: characters, setting, plot, point of view and theme. Sometimes, these elements are so fantastic that readers know a story could never be true. But other times, they contain just enough facts for the story to make sense.
  2. Point out that the article they just read about Devil's Kettle Falls provides them with an excellent setting. It also introduces a mystery-what happens to the disappearing water-that could be used to develop the plot or central theme of a story. In addition, the article contains enough scientific facts to make even a work of fiction completely believable to readers.
  3. Instruct students to reread the article to collect facts about Devil's Kettle Falls. Encourage them to conduct research to learn even more about this place.
  4. Challenge students to use what they learned to write fictional stories about how and why the river disappears. Instruct students to incorporate enough scientific facts into their stories to make readers wonder if their tales could be true.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their stories with the class. Encourage classmates to point out the scientific facts. Challenge them to identify details that prove the story is a work of fiction.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Conduct research to learn more about Devil's Kettle Falls as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to develop a theory about how and why the river disappears. Challenge them to include enough scientific facts to make the plot sound true.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct groups to conduct research to learn more about Devil's Kettle Falls. Challenge groups to develop a theory and write a fictional story about how and why the river disappears. Challenge them to incorporate scientific facts into their plot.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners conduct research to learn more about Devil's Kettle Falls. Then instruct them to develop a theory and write a fictional story that explains how and why the river disappears. Challenge partners to include scientific facts from the article and their research to make the story as believable as possible.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners conduct research to learn more about Devil's Kettle Falls. Instruct them to develop a theory and write a fictional story that explains how and why the river disappears. Challenge students incorporate both geology and technology into their plots to make their stories as believable as possible.