This collection of historical fiction photo prompts lets young teens step back in time to experience a slice of history.
Whether they’re sailing on the Mayflower, panning for gold in Old California, protecting a Jewish family during World War II, or creating their own “You Are There” historical adventure, these prompts will open the doors of their imaginations.
Or, enhance your studies of history by inviting your junior high or high schoolers to use these prompts for writing across the curriculum.
1. Pilgrim’s Progress
The year is 1620. Imagine that you and your parents are aboard the Mayflower, bound for a destination that’s an ocean away from friends, family, and every comfort you have ever known. Write a journal entry expressing your hopes and fears about starting a all over again in the New World.
2. Gold Fever
Eureka! It’s 1849, and folks are flocking to California in search of gold. Imagine that you are a miner with “gold fever” living in a mining camp called Hangtown. Write a letter home telling your family about a typical day. What is life like in the camp? Is there law and order where you live? Have you been successful at prospecting for gold? Did you strike it rich?
3. Hiding Place
During World War II, you and your parents hid a Jewish family in your home in Holland to protect them from the Nazis. Who was this family? How did you keep them safe? Write a paragraph explaining why you chose to do this, even though it meant putting your own family at great risk.
4. Doorways to History
These may look like ordinary wooden doors salvaged from old buildings, but things are not always as they seem! You see, each door leads to a different place and time. Which door will you step through? What moment in history will greet you? What historical figure will be your guide? Write a story about your adventure.
If your children have enjoyed these exciting journal prompts, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
Photos: Vladislav Bezrukov (Mayflower), Library of Congress (gold miners), anyjazz65 (doors), courtesy of Creative Commons
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