October 25, 2011

Paradigm High School Workshop

I just finished hanging with Ms. Hanson's novel writing class at Paradigm High School this afternoon. It was two of the best hours of my writing career! What a FANTASTIC class! As always, we started off with a Mad-Lib to emphasize the importance of every word in a story. Here's the end result:

Every noon, I wake up and get off my desk. I don't always have time to crawl a shower, but I always make sure to flap my hair. Once that's done I get some electric pens, and then it's off to my first taco. I often get caught walking in class. No one likes it when the nuclear physicist gives a surprise scar. My second class is Bazooka Theory. Dr. Gambit is incredibly pink, but I never destroy him because of his thick international space station. His kittens, however, are really killer. After lunch, I have no more whales and I'm free to kick behind my friends. Before I go to bed I scuff a little bit.

After the Mad-Lib, we discussed the components of a good story, then the students spent 15 minutes free-writing.

To give you an idea of the utter awesomeness of the students in this class, here are some of their requirements. They must complete these in 2 quarters (half a school year):
  • 130 pages of their own novel written
  • 8 peer reviews
  • 3 research papers
  • 3 published novels read
  • 2 novel plot maps - one for their own book and one for another published book
  • 1 geography map for their own novel
  • 4 oral presentations to the class
These students are serious about their writing--and they LOVE it! We spent half of my time talking about publishing. Many of the students are ready to jump head first into the professional writing world, and rightly so. I wish I had made a copy of their free-writings so I could share them with you. Absolutely amazing!

I've said it many times, but there's nothing as satisfying as seeing our youth's creative minds at work. I hope to continue working with Ms. Hanson's class in the future.

As always, if you would like my free assistance with your own classroom, please contact me! My services are listed under the "Services" tab at the top of this page.

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