Creative Writing 1
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Memoir Unit Goal: I can write a memoir with believable dialogue, smart details, and an emotional punch.

W Jan 3: Welcome back! Add your birthday to the calendar and share a movie, TV show, or book you consumed over break. Read two food memoir pieces by Connie Schultz and then brainstorm one of your own.

R Jan 4: Write a food memoir piece.

F Jan 5: Read the David Sedaris piece "Us and Them" and discuss its merits. We will write in response on Monday about a neighbor or Halloween.

M Jan 8: Start a memoir piece about a neighbor or a Halloween memory.

T Jan 9: Listen to a read-aloud of Cynthia Rylant's "When I Was Young in the Mountains" and Stepho's imitation "When I Was Young in the Country." Write your own imitation that includes at least four memories.

W Jan 10: Write about the social experiment you conducted.

R Jan 11: Read Taylor Austin's "Fatal Attraction" and discuss its merits. Brainstorm an accident you were a part of. Write for five minutes. We will write more tomorrow.

F Jan 12: Finish your accident story from yesterday for five more minutes. Read and discuss "White Lies." Write for eight minutes about a lie or bullying story from your life.

M Jan 15: MLK Jr. Day

T Jan 16: Read "Searching for Shards" and think about an object from your past that symbolizes one of your hopes, dreams, fears, etc. Write the story of that symbol.

W Jan 17: Make a list of your beliefs, past and present. Then write a story about how one of these beliefs came to be or go away.

R Jan 18: Physically describe one of your family members, focusing on the five senses. Then a tell a story about that family member.

F Jan 19: Compare and contrast yourself with one of your current or past best friends using a Venn diagram. Then write a story you have with that best friend.

M Jan 22: Write about yourself in the third person. It should be a story that has happened to you within the past twelve months.

T Jan 23: Notebook check. Start thinking about which memoir piece you will bring to final draft status.

W Jan 24: Work on revising your final draft.

R Jan 25: Day 1 of 2 to type your memoir piece in the computer lab. It should be between 500 and 1,000 words.

F Jan 26: Day 2 of 2 to type your memoir piece. Type single-space and print off 4 copies for your writing.

M Jan 29: Meet in your writing group for feedback on your typed draft of your memoir piece.

T Jan 30: Meet in the lab to type your revisions. Print two copies for author's chair.

W Jan 31: Author's Chair.

R Feb 1: Author's Chair.

F Feb 2: Author's Chair.

M Feb 5: Read Mr. Stephenson's memoir piece "Country Billiards." Then write about a childhood game of your own.

T Feb 6: Novel Day.

W Feb 7: Listen to the picture book All the Places to Love. Then write about one of your favorite places.

R Feb 8: Author's Chair.

F Feb 9: Finish Author's Chair.

M Feb 12: Introduction to sitcoms. Define these terms in your notebook: sitcom, act, scene, cold open / teaser, tag, pilot, and talking head. Read through / skim an actual sitcom script to see its format / structure.

T Feb 13: Define these terms in your notebook: A, B, and C story. (O.S.) = off screen & (V.O.) = voice over. Fill out the sitcom script structure worksheet on a sitcom of your choice.

W Feb 14: Get your memoir final drafts back along with your blackout poem from last semester from the bulletin board. Report to the class your findings from yesterday's script analysis. Determine some trends from the data from the spreadsheet Mr. Stephenson created with your data. Realize that most acts end with a cliffhanger and share some examples.

R Feb 15: Watch an episode of King of the Hill, noting its conflict, cliffhangers, and resolution. Learn that TV sitcoms are about maintaining the status quo.

F Feb 16: No School.

M Feb 19: No School.

T Feb 20: Watch an episode of Friends, noting its balance of three different storylines.

W Feb 21: Snow / Ice Day.

R Feb 22: Snow / Ice Day.

F Feb 23: Watch an episode of The Office, noting its use of talking heads.