Activity Types: Impersonations


Getting "Handy" in the classroom with technology integration!

What is an Impersonation Project?

Impersonations occur when students with to email a fictional character from a book or converse with someone no longer living. These character impersonations (role-playing) are often carried out by experts in the field, teachers, or administrators.

Advantages for use in the classroom:

  • Students must form questions appropriate to send to experts

  • Can be done independently or as a small group

  • Students get accurate information to their own specific questions


  • Teachers should supervise questions before emails are sent to experts

  • These are short activities


Fourth and fifth grade classes reading historical fiction, such as The Sign of the Beaver, What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, Indian Captive, the Story of Mary Lenski, and others, would email the main characters in the book and ask them questions about what was happening to them in the book, often asking how the characters felt about what was happening, or asking questions about living in that day and age. The emails would be sent to an English professor or teacher knowledgeable about the books who would answer the question as the character.

See the Texas TIPD Activity Types for descriptions of great Impersonation projects that are ongoing.

Copyright 2002-2011 Handy4Class Project

Candace Figg, PhD
Brock University
Faculty of Education, Teacher Education Department
500 Glenridge, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
(905.688.5550, x5347)

Jenny Burson, EdD
University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction