During the first part of class, students completed a warmup on character names and then used baby name websites to research how fitting those names were. I reviewed details of the short story assignment (A2, B6), particularly Phase 1. Students had some work time to begin their stories either on Google Classroom or on paper. We also played around with my new Writer Emergency Pack near the end of class. Homework: Phase 1 is due at the start of next class.
This class will be an opportunity for you to express yourself creatively through writing. You will get a chance to try many different genres of writing and practice the writing process. You will get to help others improve their writing, and the favor will be returned to you with your own writing. By the end of the class, you will develop a portfolio of your best, most polished work.
Note: I teach two sections of this class on different days. When possible, I will use the same entry for both Red and Gold days. When impossible, I will post a separate summary for each day.
We completed our viewing of Stranger Than Fiction today. After talking briefly about the film, students did some preliminary work in their journals for their short stories. Homework: continue thinking about how to begin and structure your story.
After a couple warm-up exercises, we began a film about writing — Stranger Than Fiction. Homework: start thinking about how to begin and structure your story.
Students finished reading “Interpreter of Maladies” during the first part of class and then completed a handout asking them some questions about the story. We then discussed the story as a class. Students completed a few pre-writing exercises in their journals to end class.
After some warm-ups, I checked everyone’s eavesdropping assignment from over break. Then students made a list of possible settings, characters, and conflicts for their stories. After this, students began reading “Interpreter of Maladies” on p. 100 in the Burroway text. We will finish this story next class.
After only a little pre-writing today, we discussed the importance of writing good dialogue in short fiction. Students were then sent out on an eavesdropping activity around school. After returning, students did some additional writing inspired by what they’d heard. Homework: complete some additional eavesdropping over spring break.
More pre-writing started us off (mostly in A2 due to a shortened class in B6 for late start). Both classes then focused on a discussion of “Tooth and Claw” and turned in the handouts from last class. Then I distributed details of the short story assignment (A2, B6), and students started putting together their portfolio assignment on Google Classroom.
After our usual opening dose of pre-writing, students began reading “Tooth and Claw.” As this was the longest story to date, and one of the more complicated, students read short portions interrupted twice completing sections of a handout and discussing what they’d read. Homework: finish reading “Tooth and Claw” and finish the handout.
We started class by continuing our discussion of “Souvenir” and how it matched up with Burroway’s ideas of story as journey, power struggle, and connection/disconnection. Then I introduced the concept of comic/tragic stories (in the classical sense), and we discussed which side “Souvenir” fell on. Students read “Bigfoot Stole My Wife” and we also discussed this (weird) story and whether it is a comedy or tragedy. We finished up class with some more fiction-related pre-writing.
Today was our workshop day for the creative nonfiction personal essay/memoir. If you were absent or did not have a workshop draft ready for today, you will need to get feedback on your own before you begin revisions to this essay for the final portfolio.
At the start of class I checked students’ rough drafts of the creative nonfiction personal essay/memoir. The rest of class was time to work on typing drafts and/or continuing writing the essay with the opportunity to get assistance from me. Homework: the workshop draft is due in Google Classroom at the start of class Thursday.
Students began class by reading two essays in the Burroway text — “At the Dam” (p. 143) and “A Wind from the North” (p. 145) — and then completing a handout with some questions about these essays. We discussed these two essays, talking about the authors’ use of setting and voice in relation to their subjects. Then students had time to begin their creative nonfiction rough drafts. Homework: I will check rough drafts at the start of class on Wednesday.
I was away from school today. Students read two essays in the Burroway text — “At the Dam” (p. 143) and “A Wind from the North” (p. 145) — and then completed a handout with some questions about these essays. When they finished, students had time to begin their creative nonfiction rough drafts. Homework: I will check rough drafts at the start of class on Tuesday.
I collected the nonfiction planning documents at the start of class and checked these while students worked through reading and pre-writing from Burroway’s chapter on setting. I returned the planning documents so that students could begin work on their rough drafts. Homework: none due next class, but your rough drafts will be due next Tuesday (Red day)/Wednesday (Gold day).
Students started the class with some pre-writing, and then I introduced the details of the creative nonfiction essay. We discussed the difference between fact and truth in the Burroway text, and then students had time to begin the outlining and planning document for the essay. Homework: complete the outline/planning document which I will check next class.
We continued with a second professional model of a nonfiction essay today — “The Knife.” Students read and then completed a similar assignment to the one from yesterday on Google Classroom. After finishing, we discussed theme, tone, voice, and setting in both essays. Homework: complete Try This 7.7 from p. 245 in the Burroway text (Interview someone at least a generation older than you are about an event that took place before you were born; write the story and scene of your interview, rather than just giving me a back-and-forth dialogue, and let the event emerge through the conversation and your reflections on it).
We started our new unit today — Creative Nonfiction. Students did some new pre-writing to start developing ideas for their nonfiction essays. Then everyone read “The Inheritance of Tools” and completed a related assignment on Google Classroom. Anyone who finished early had some time to work on revisions to Poems 2 and 3.
I was away from school today, but with the sub students completed workshop for Poem #3 (and sneaked in a few late Poem #2 submissions).
Today we completed workshop for Poem #3 (and sneaked in a few late Poem #2 submissions).