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What a Disaster! Disaster Research Project for 8th Grade Students: Home

Webster states that a disaster is "a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction." Pick one of the following disasters to research and become part of through story.

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Use this site to help you establish a research timeline.

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Project Description

You have recently been hired to babysit for two small children.  While babysitting, you and the two children are transported back in time to the middle of a major natural disaster.  You must first research this natural disaster and write a traditional 1-2 page research paper complete with internal citation.  Then, you are going to take the information gathered while doing your research and write a work of historical fiction where you and the children are directly involved in the disaster.  You must make sure that all three of you come back to the present unharmed.  Make sure you include information about who the characters in your story would meet along the way, where the characters would be and what the characters would see along their journey. 


Your papers will be graded on the following traits:

Research Paper - Organization, Ideas, Sentence Fluency and Conventions

Historical Fiction - Ideas, Voice, Word Choice and Conventions


You will follow the entire Big 6 Research Process for the Research Paper and do the entire writing process for both papers.


Papers without correct internal citation and bibliographies will not be accepted.


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Writing Historical Fiction

Five Rules for Writing Historical Fiction

  1. Sweat the Small Stuff

  2. Dump the Unnecessary Information

  3. Be Responsible to the Characters

  4. Don't Judge your Characters

  5. Try to Avoid First-Person Point of View