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YOU can get my kids to write

 
 
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 11:43 am
I am teaching a 200 level creative writing class (10-15 undergraduate students) for the first time this fall. I have teaching experience, and fiction writing experience, but I need your help as I prepare to combine the two.

I am constructing a list of creative writing prompts, ideas, exercises to get the kids writing IN-CLASS (by kids I mean ages 18-22). This is where I need help. Please offer your suggestions--I am particularly interested in prompts that you learned from other teachers, classes, but I'll take whatever you got.

Thanks!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 891 • Replies: 17
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 11:50 am
Dunno if this will help: http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8155 There are a few others, just follow the links.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 12:34 pm
Before the first class, make out a list of questions to be answered by your students before the second class. If they complain, remind them that they enrolled to write.

Why did your parents give you your name?

Describe your home neighborhood.

Describe the most unpleasant person you've ever known.

Describe the best person you've ever known. (Note: Describing unpleasantness is much easier than describing virtue).

Describe your current living situation.

You get the idea--assign short essays on subjects which your students should have something to say. Questions like this will also give you a feel for your students competence and backgrounds.
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theollady
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 01:03 pm
Those are GREAT suggestions, Noddy--(and I am not even the one who asked) however, I find them helpfully stimulating to think of when "I" want to write.
You are such a mulit-talented thinker!! (Like Letty--- I read you both!)
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 01:16 pm
If the kids were young, I'd say "write something or I'll drown your pets", but 18-22 year olds are a different story. Whatever you choose, I think at that age, just asking to write about a personal experience within a framework (Noddy suggested some good ones) would be a good approach. Noddy is right, it is easier to write about the negative than the positive, so to frame the exercises around having the students express both would be really good.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 01:18 pm
Please excuse my repeated use of the word 'good' in my last post.

One of my favourite English teachers in high school (a bit younger than your group) gave us an assignment to write a creative story, our choice of theme, within a format regarding length, and we had to read it out loud to the class. THAT was inspiring.
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 01:33 pm
Gargamel,

in my screenwriting class which I am currently taking we've had to do a bit of in-class writing.

one thing that we did was an adaptation, where we read a short story/plot, and then in class write a new story based upon the same basic facts.

It was an interesting exercise.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 01:35 pm
Heh heh heh. ^Plot rip-offs 101 or "How to write for sit-coms"
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 01:43 pm
fortune wrote:
Heh heh heh. ^Plot rip-offs 101 or "How to write for sit-coms"


Evil or Very Mad NOOOOOO!!!!!! How about why can't you get off yer asses and write something original for a change? Oops, I'm having another Hollywood moment <swoons and reaches for the smelling salts>
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 04:48 pm
There's and old golf course in the middle of South Dakota. Few people play there, mainly because of the small population in the area. The owner tries his best to keep it maintained, but because of limited revenue, and the fact that he has only one employee, old Bob Jenkins, the task is quite daunting.

But that's really not important. Just a little background information for what I'm about to tell you.

One morning last week old Bob Jenkins arrived to work. His first task in the morning was to move the sprinklers around, especially near the greens. It's still fairly dark as he approaches the 2nd green, but he can see an object on the green.

Not until he is on the edge of the green does he recognize the object, or, to be more accurate, objects, since there were several of them.

A small wooden table, painted white, was in the center of the green. On the top of the table was the carcass of a raccoon, decapitated. Near the headless raccoon was the current issue of People magazine, two red coloring crayons, and a glass of lemonade with a few small fragments of ice floating on the surface.

On the ground near the table was a plastic duck and a brand new Titelist golf ball.

Old Bob called the police and nearly a week went by before they figured what had happened out on the 2nd green.

Give that story to your class, Gargamel. See if they can figure it out.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2004 05:01 pm
Gus yer a genius! (a very strange and disturbing one at that)
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Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 06:41 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
There's and old golf course in the middle of South Dakota. Few people play there, mainly because of the small population in the area. The owner tries his best to keep it maintained, but because of limited revenue, and the fact that he has only one employee, old Bob Jenkins, the task is quite daunting.

But that's really not important. Just a little background information for what I'm about to tell you.

One morning last week old Bob Jenkins arrived to work. His first task in the morning was to move the sprinklers around, especially near the greens. It's still fairly dark as he approaches the 2nd green, but he can see an object on the green.

Not until he is on the edge of the green does he recognize the object, or, to be more accurate, objects, since there were several of them.

A small wooden table, painted white, was in the center of the green. On the top of the table was the carcass of a raccoon, decapitated. Near the headless raccoon was the current issue of People magazine, two red coloring crayons, and a glass of lemonade with a few small fragments of ice floating on the surface.

On the ground near the table was a plastic duck and a brand new Titelist golf ball.

Old Bob called the police and nearly a week went by before they figured what had happened out on the 2nd green.

Give that story to your class, Gargamel. See if they can figure it out.


I'll penicl that "exercise" in for the first day of class, Gus. Thanks!
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 06:48 am
Hmm, gus does indeed have some insight here. I'm a bit concerned whether this suggestion is either a creative project, a logic problem, or just another copy and paste entry from gus's diary. I'll leave that up to Gargamel and his teens to figure out.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 06:54 am
I'd be tempted to give this one a go myself but the plastic duck scares me. (Why not the raccoon? Obviously it was the victim of a very sloppy golfer's swing)
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 01:17 pm
I think you guys missed the point of the exercise I described...it's all about originality. Someone has already made a plot out of some facts. Then you have to write a completely different plot, without letting the original plot influence you!
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 02:16 pm
Nobody missed the point, stuh. We're just waiting to see what Gargamel likes.
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Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 02:18 pm
Yeah, we're still waiting see what he likes.
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stuh505
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 07:47 pm
and im still waiting to hear the correct solution to this little riddle.
0 Replies
 
 

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