Wednesday Y.A.W.c #5

(Young Adults Writing creatively!)

What you need:
A number of short stories in different genres which all have the same basic underlying theme (such as the theme we see shared across films like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Eragon) OR other materials (perhaps even just lecture) to enlighten the students as to the commonalities between films like these.

The Set-Up:
Okay, now that you’ve been able to spot the differences in genre and the similarities of theme, lets discuss how, in each case, the genre in which the story is told directly effects the theme.

The Activity:
Once your students have a firm grasp on what is going on, have them work together to make a list of possible themes that they might be interested in writing about. Some to consider:

*One person against the world
*Out with the old, in with the new
*Its all in your mind
*Renewal of hope

Next, have them start naming off genres that they know (and/or provide your own). Some to consider:

*Science Fiction
*Present day/modern

Once you have a comprehensive list on the board, have your students take out pieces of paper. Let them volunteer to take certain genres as they feel inspired to, but try to guide them into as even a spread as possible. Now, give them some time to write a story. This can be run either as a quick, ten minute exercise or a long, fully formed short story construction assignment. After the stories are written, ask for students to volunteer to read their stories, but encourage different genres to contribute in order to get an even smattering of student responses. Once enough stories are read, revisit the original discussion of genre and theme.

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