Intensive Survey (Charter)

Tentative Curriculum for Charter School Venues

To bring students up to speed with and match/exceed grade standards for English literature as set by the state of California in a way that is both fun and highly involving. As a creative writing course, this class aims to turn what many students view as menial tasks (reading and writing) into an art and a lifelong hobby (if not more) that will bolster both their fluency and facility with the English language.

Each session will begin with a snap (10 minute) free writing activity triggered by fun, randomly chosen prompts in which even the instructor will take part. Emphasis will be on encouraging students to “dive right in” when it comes to writing, putting pen to paper and revising what comes out as a secondary but necessary (and still fun) process. Sessions will involve writing prompts, discussion, exhibiting of example material to get students excited and motivated about the different ways to tell a story, some in class reading, sharing of written material, movement activities and exercises that encourage student camaraderie and a clear mind. “Work hard, be nice” will be the mantra of these courses. Homework will mostly consist of doing writing activities and some reading (online sources where applicable.) Students will be encouraged to bring writing utensils and paper, but I have more than enough materials to make up for those who forget. I also have my own overhead projector for in-class peer review projects!

Section Breakdown: (Divided across number of days in term)

1. Initial Writing Workshop
a. Assess group level / make friends
b. Talk about writing / ease students in
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Imagination training / encouraging students to think “outside the box”
e. Plot, character, setting, point of view, and some symbolism

2. Short Fiction Section
a. What short fiction is (1000-8000 words)
b. Examples of short fiction
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Short fiction project (1-2 pages)
3. Flash Fiction Section
a. What flash fiction is (1-800 words)
b. Examples of flash fiction
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Flash fiction project(s) (less than 1 page each)

4. Poetry Section
a. What poetry is
b. Examples of poetry
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Poetry project (3 short poems)

5. Lyrical and Epic Poetry Section
a. What lyrical and epic poetry are
b. Examples
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Poetry project (1+ Pages)

6. Screenwriting
a. How to write for the screen
b. Examples
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Acting project (short, small and in-class)
d. Play/screen project (1+ pages)

7. The Novel
a. What the novel is
b. Planning your own novel
c. Small writing exercises/peer review/sharing
d. Novel discussion / minor assignments
e. Novel project (Start of a chapter/book - small project)

8. Final Workshop
a. Polishing, looking back
b. Peer review/sharing, possibly second drafts.

9. The Writing Market
a. How to get your work seen
b. Marketing your writing
c. Publishing/copyright
d. Other things to know

Tentative texts:
a. Selections from Extreme Fiction as in-class examples
b. Student Selections (Brought in)

a. Hemingway: Hills like White Elephants
b. Shirley Jackson: The Lottery
c. H.P. Lovecraft: Dagon

a. Patricia Grace: Butterflies (1 page Handout)
b. H.P. Lovecraft: Azathoth
c. Bruce Holland Rogers: Jerry
d. Ernest Hemingway: For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.

a. Johnathon Swift: Description of a city shower
b. Robert Frost: Out, out–
b. secular selections from Jubilate Agno: My Cat Jeoffry
c. Selections from Czeslaw Milosz: Selected Poems
d. Poetry selections from contemporary up and coming poets

a. Tennyson: Lady of Shalott (Also Lorenna McKennett’s version)
b. Brief, secular selections from Paradise Lost, Odyssey.
c. John Dryden: MacFlecknoe

a. Student examples/film discussions
b. Selections from scripts from popular movies
c. Selections from Romeo and Juliet
d. Selections from Midsummer Night’s Dream

a. Selections from Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider.
b. Selections chosen by students

a. Student drafts

a. Student drafts

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