with Angela Harris
All writers are now at the 30% or more completion mark on their word count goals. Great work -- now the big push to the end begins!
After up-dating our word counts on our in-class progress chart, we played a quick game of "Simile or Metaphor?" to reinforce our discussion from last class. Teams took turns identifying whether a statement was a simile or metaphor and then for extra points, had to turn the correctly identified statement into the opposite form. Congratulations to the girls -- Team "NaNo" -- for stealing a question and squeaking by with the win.
Experimenting with Sequence and Structure
We then began a hands-on project to demonstrate that a piece of literature can be re-arranged into a different order, but still tell the same story. After briefly defining chronological order, we discussed techniques such as flashbacks, flash-forwards, and foreshadowing. One student is even using flashbacks in her novel!
Using the same teams from the morning, students were challenged to divide the delightful short story, "Thank You, Ma'am" by Langston Hughes, into six different sections. They might use six equal sections or they might divide the story into a beginning, an ending, and four internal sections. The only rules were that the story could not be in the original (chronological) order and that they try to be as creative as possible while still maintaing the story's original meaning. They were allowed to make small edits and/or add orienting or transitional words or phrases. After the teams cut and pasted the story into a new order, we examined both versions for similarities and differences. I will be taking a look at them this week and will declare a "winner" next class!
For our last activity, students made a list of five things their protagonists might have in their closets! I loved hearing all the different items, as it gave great insight into what type of characters our writers are creating.
After answering another five questions on a questionnaire sheet, we then started our NaNo TV interviews -- students were asked to take on the personae of their protagonists while I interviewed them. We did not have time to finish, so we will pick this up next time. If they would like, students can also fill out the interview questions for their supporting characters and antagonists. They may also bring a prop to wear or hold during the interview that personifies the characters they are portraying.
Very Important Reminders!
Here are a few critical things to remember as we cruise into month-end:
Any questions, please ask! Good luck and see you on December 2!