Thursday, 4/23; Friday, 4/24

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.

Wednesday, 3/25; Thursday, 3/26

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.

Monday, 3/16 (Gold day only)

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.

Friday, 3/13 (Red day only)

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.

Wednesday, 3/11; Thursday, 3/12

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).

Thursday, 3/5; Friday, 3/6

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).