Fictional Truth Writing

There it was again.

Thump. Thump.

“I know you are there! Come out so I can see you!” Richard called, his voice shaking. He was so tired. Tired of the sounds. The whispers. The constant not knowing.

“Just come out so I can see you!” Fists clenched, he banged the wall, not sure if he was responding to the bangs and thumps, or just frustrated no one ever responded. Was he going mad?

Silence answer him.


“So, wait…is that it? Seriously, Mrs. Allum! You have to keep writing this!”

“Hmmm…I am liking this concept of ghost and human, I have some ideas, but I am not sure fully where to take it yet…”

“Oh, please keep writing. I want to know what happens!”

God love them for being so sweet and getting generally excited for my writing.

With Jess Lifshitz‘s gift of her fiction unit, I broke it down a bit more, but, by and large, have been entering writing fiction with grade 6 students. We are creating fiction to change the world, and, to be honest, writing alongside them has been amazing.

As we planned characters, I planned characters — their external and internal qualities, and their strengths and struggles. We looked at rising action and conflict, resolutions vs. solutions.

Coming near-ish the end of the year, it’s interesting to see how much of their truths come out of lying.


Fiction unit here — mine based on Jess Lifshitz‘s work. This is a work in progress, and also involves Gholdy Muhammad‘s HRL model.

4 responses to “Fictional Truth Writing”

  1. I love this! And I love that you are being bold and fearless, right along with your kids. Not only do they give you “street cred,” but they get to see you as a model of working through the whole messy, amazing, terrifying, liberating process.

    Thank you for being so generous to share your work! I’m anxious to take a peek!

    Liked by 1 person

    • (…and, as a former colleague of Jess’s and a card-carrying fan club member, I can very well guess how amazing that unit is!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Your writing had me enthralled and mesmerized – I can imagine kids being hooked. What a powerful way to start a unit.
    Thank you for sharing your process and resources. I will reference it and adapt to third graders.

    Liked by 1 person

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