Presenting research - Historical fiction

Learning intention

Students use fiction to present their historical research and show their understanding of perspective and significance.

Students will:

  • Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past (ACHHS172)
  • Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own) (ACHHS173)
  • Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies (ACHHS175)


This activity is part of the Presenting historical inquiry pathway. 


A collection of relevant historical fiction. You school librarian or sites like Inside a dog can help with recommendations and reading lists.


Students brainstorm three key points from their research they would like to communicate. For instance, for research on the experience of Australian nurses during WW1, a student might highlight:

  • the work was often tough and not very glamorous
  • many nurses struggles to adjust to life at home once the war was over
  • Australian nurses worked in different places and with different organisations during WW1

Ask students to list three different scenes or events and three different characters (real or fictional) that could help to illustrate their key ideas in a piece of fiction.

Ask students to browse through some examples of historical fiction you have in the classroom.

  • How do authors depict time and place?
  • What kind of details might you need to include to ensure you accurately communicate the era you have been researching?
  • What questions do you need to ask to make sure you have all the information you need to begin writing?

Some ideas for writing your historical fiction include:

  • write from the point of view of an animal involved in the war using Ceridwen Dovey’s book of short stories Only the Animals as a model
  • use an image or artefact from your research as the starting point
  • consider how Toni Jordan used an image from the SLV collection to write her novel Nine Lives
  • write an account of a particular historical event in your research from the perspective of an unusual character.