Gateway Regional High School
< Creative Writing / 10th-12th grade >
Mrs. Melissa Irwin
Google Classroom code: zx3ohy (Period 3) and knpgqp1 (Period 5)
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Creative Writing class involves short spontaneous exercises and longer assignments used to motivate, and refine, students´ writing. Focus is on building a writer’s toolbox in order to write a short story, among other genres. Students will study short stories as character pieces, look at different genres of short stories (including drama, comedy, sci-fi, and even autobiographical stories), and create a short stories/poems of their own. There will be extensive focus on the writing process, with students creating many prewriting pieces (such as point of view, conflict, setting descriptions, and plot outlines), rough drafts, and final published drafts. Students will also have at least two days to self/ peer review in class and obtain feedback on each of their rough drafts. Lessons on grammar will be integrated into the process as well. Exercises will be done both collaboratively and individually using workshops in class.
Course Expectations and Assessments
1st Marking Period
- Short Story Writing - Students will focus on show not tell, sentence structure and variety, and sentence combining, imitation, and expansion.
- Murder Mystery Short Story- Students will focus on plot twist and word choice. Students will research how to determine whether information is relevant; to weed out “red herrings” or irrelevant information; organize thoughts; and present accurate conclusions. Students will identify the characteristics of mystery writing through research and class discussions, outline a mystery story using a graphic organizer, write and revise a mystery story independently or with a small group,
2nd Marking Period
- Flash Fiction-Students will read various pieces of flash fiction and learn how to “read between the lines” of what is written and what is meant, but not written. The students will focus on a single moment, and communicate a message using breaks, pauses, and blank spaces to create various pieces of flash fiction.
- Character Driven Story-Students will learn to fuse plot and character together in order to create a story that feels seamless. Instead of thinking of these story elements as separate entities, they will link them together.
3rd Marking Period
- Historical Fiction: Students will go through the process of gathering historical information, weaving together fact and fiction to create a plot, and then refining both content and style to fashion a unique and exciting work of fiction.
- Children’s Story Writing-This unit will allow students to explore the genre of children’s storytelling and identify elements critical to making a story interesting, relatable, and understandable to a younger audience. In this lesson students plan, write, illustrate, and publish their own children's picture books.
4th Marking Period
- Poetry- Students will be able to independently use their learning to find their own unique poetic voice/style and make meaning of the world around them as poets/artists. Students will create various styles of poems using both google docs and I-movie.
- Visit Google Classroom for information about classroom assignments.
- Retakes will be available primary assessments only. Retakes are only available to students who complete all homework.
- High School Grading Policy
- 60% (Primary)- tests, essays, benchmarks, and major projects
- 30% (Secondary)- quizzes, minor projects and writing assignments
- 10% (Support)- class work
- 0% - Diagnostic assessments
Required and Recommended Materials
- Students are asked to bring a pen/pencil, highlighters, and post-its.
- Students are required to bring their Chromebook to each class.
- Please feel free to email me with any questions regarding your child’s grade throughout the school year.
- I am available most days after school until the first late bus (3:24pm).
Classroom Behavioral Expectations and Rewards/Consequences
- Cell phones should be put away in the classroom.
- Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
- Be respectful to teacher and classmates at all times.
- Students are expected to be on time to class daily. The 4th lateness will be followed by a write-up.
- Students are expected to follow Gateway’s Code of Conduct.