Technology Allows 8th Graders to Interview Civil Rights Author
Eighth graders “facetimed" with Dr. Chris Crowe, author of "Mississippi Trial 1955" in early April, after reading his novel as part of their assignment in history class. Dr. Crowe’s book examines the famous case of Emmett Till, whose murder was one of the triggers of the modern-day civil rights movement.
To prepare for the “live” interview, students compiled a list of questions related to the writing process, the novel, and Dr. Crowe's interests, and posed those questions to Dr. Crowe himself, in real time.
Dr. Crowe told students about the time and research it takes to create a work of historical fiction, and walked through his writing process for "Mississippi Trial 1955." He also gave tips for overcoming writer's block and making characters come to life when writing.
The opportunity, made available by state-of-the-art classroom technology, allowed students access to behind-the-scenes information readers rarely know about the novels they read -- while at the same time helping them connect a face and personality to the name of a published author.