Fan Fiction in YOUR Classroom!

According to the Journal of Media Literacy Education Fanfiction offers "an opportunity to support learners’ development of traditional literary analysis skills while engaging with a technology-supported writing community."

Who could want more?!

Fan Fiction gives ELA classrooms and even history classrooms the unique opportunity for students to actually OWN the material and create in a safe, positive, growth-centric environment.

Any application of FF should have the students sharing their work and having it critiqued online. The usefulness of an online community dedicated to creating better writers is INVALUABLE. Too often is the internet rife with "flaming" negative criticism and wholyl negative feedback. offers students an opportunity to use the internet to create a piece of original work, submit it to the community or a mentor and receive constructive feedback.

Let's Look At:

ELA Applications:

New Endings, New Beginnings:
Have the classroom create their own accounts on the website of your choice and make online publication a requirement for the grade. Students get a chance to experience peer revision on a new level with writers who are just as invested in the subject material as themselves! The stories they write should add to or change the ending or beginning in some meaningful way. This will force your students to better understand the causal relationship between the falling actions and resolution or the exposition and rising action. It is a fantastic way to foster an authentic understanding of plot structure.

On the Other Side:
Same concept as before, but instead of changing the plot or story intrinsically, have the students write a background or a new side of events from the point-of-view of a minor character. Ron in Harry Potter for instance. Here the students will learn the concept of a dual narrative plot structure, but also construction of a character in specifics.

Social Studies Applications:

Alternate Endings:
What if Lincoln survived his assassination? If the bombs were never dropped? If Pearl Harbor never happened? Having your students create alternate endings to famous catalytic moments in history is a great way to have them creatively show an understanding of the factors and events surrounding that moment. Make sure you ask for specifics and, as always, make sure they collaborate with online communities for feedback!

Stand and Deliver!:
What would you say to the country today if you were Eisenhower? Lincoln? Ghandi or Rosa Parks? Make students assume the role of a famous person in history and give a speech. This activity can include both the online collaboration aspects of fan fiction, but also public speaking!

Other Applications:

Any other discipline can make use of this style of creative, multi-modality, but it is far harder to find online resources to read stories about math and science. The creation of a wiki or blogsite can allow students to submit online and create a self-made community of writers and critics.

The anonymity of online communities provides a scary, but ultimately rewarding experience for students to expose their work to a greater variety of eyes. It is also a fantastic tool for teaching any student in any discipline about the importance of audience. Online communities have specific audiences in mind and by creating a piece with that in mind, the students no longer have to feel concerned about writing only for the teacher!