It's the middle of October already and the signs are everywhere: pumpkin-lined door steps, candy displays at the grocery store, and students who are starting to slip into the doldrums. The honeymoon is over and any back to school energy has been used up.
I've decided to wake up my students with a creative writing assignment that will allow them to work on the skills I want them to learn AND have a little spooky fun. We are going to explore the elements of good fiction, make connections to the novels they are reading for reader's workshop, and then they will write their own scary short story.
The first step is, of course, to set the scene. I've searched youtube for short clips that are appropriate for high school and not too scary for those students who are wimps like me. I'm going to show each of them and ask students to respond to the following questions: Which elements of the story create suspense? Is the video scary? Why or why not? What improvements would you suggest?
After I get their heads in my scary little game, I will give them this graphic organizer to help them start planning their own story. You can grab it for free in my store by clicking the link.
Once the plans are in place we will be using learning stations to guide them through the creative process. I'll keep you posted on all of the scary details!