high school

This weekend I delivered a session on flash fiction at the Write Eastern Kentucky Conference on the campus of Morehead State University and decided to share some of my plans here. While the length of most fiction is determined by the guidelines of the journal or magazine to which you plan to submit your work, a generally accepted word count for a traditional short story is 2000-8000 words while a...
                 This lesson takes about 45-60 minutes to complete, and it has three parts: listening, listing, and writing.  The objective is to generate the first draft of a sharp and vivid vignette.   Writing about parents can be difficult for teenagers.  Students don’t know whether they should mythologize mom and dad with sugary platitudes or murder them in their sleep.  Whether or not a...
I am not a fan of grades.  “But we are,” my students whine, asking me daily to separate the sheep from the goats on a 100 point scale.  “So are our parents and those colleges out there.” In a world of standardized testing, college admission requirements, and GPA wars, I am stuck with awarding grades. However, a difficult question for most creative writing teachers is: How do I “grade” a...
One of the mainstays of my creative writing classroom is poetry transcription, a writing exercise I learned from Rob Lockhart, a teacher with the Boyd County school system.  I learned PT from Rob in 2004 during the Morehead Writing Project Summer Institute and have used it with every grade, class, and ability level since. In linguistics, transcription is the act of rendering spoken language into...
Top 10 Things I've Learned From ISearch   1. Communication, communication, communication! 2. Visits from middle school students to high school are important to make students comfortable 3. Visits from high school students to middle schools are important to dispell high school rumors 4. Cluster 9th graders 5. Encourage extra-curricular participation with freshmen 6. More professional development...
Today is Digital Learning Day! To mark the occasion, let me take you through a quick walkthrough of the halls of Wamogo Regional Middle/High School and give you a snapshot on how digital learning looks in the English classrooms grades 7-12. We have 1:1 computers in grades 7 & 8; in grades 9-12, we have a "bring your own digital device" policy. Here are the digital learning activities on...
Understanding and Evaluating Characterization in Novels Overview The idea behind this unit is for students to develop a greater understanding of how authors create characters using various categories of character traits and then evaluate how well those representations reflect reality. These traits include physical, identity, and social/moral. Several activities described below were used as...
tableux.jpg (Warning: This is not a resource on how to teach Shakespeare. Except it kind of is.) I had already been through one year of teaching "The Taming of the Shrew" to a high school audience. It had been reasonably successful; students enjoyed reading the play aloud, and were amused by the trickery and brashness of the main characters. The most interesting...
I teach in an urban school in Austin, Texas. The last six years have been a struggle with out-of-touch standardized testing and forced transformations (and consequently administration and faculty purging) that are never quite given enough time to take hold. Our latest incarnation is that of a New Tech Network (insert link) school, by virtue of our name, we must be a technologically cutting-edge...