Creative Writing At Clemente
by Melissa Godinez
10th Grade English Teacher
Sophomore students at Clemente are getting ready to draft their very own short stories. MYP English 2 students are currently studying different genres and styles of literature in order to analyze how and why authors create specific themes, characters, and settings. Our current unit’s global context is personal and cultural expression, specifically metacognition and abstract thinking. As sophomores analyze a short story, poem, or song, they think about what they find most engaging in that work and why. Some of the stories that students have worked on include “The Sniper,” “The Ransom of Red Chief,” “Thank You, Ma’am,” and “The Stolen Party.”
In preparation for their upcoming Personal Project planning, the process of crafting their own short stories looks very similar to the process journal that they will have to begin building in just a few weeks. Students started drafting the first week of school by brainstorming possible conflict that could lead to a captivating story for urban teenagers. After refining their central conflicts, students created characters and a setting. This week, as we focus on what characterization looks like in literature, students began developing their characters’ personalities, physical traits, and involvement in the story’s conflict as well as the conflict’s resolution. They had the opportunity to received warm and cool feedback from their peers this week and will move into creating their first rough draft next week.
At the end of the unit, their short stories will be formatted in any way they feel is effective for expressing their purpose, keeping in mind that they trying to reach a specific audience. Some students have already chosen to create a graphic story as opposed to the traditional written story, while others will be creating their stories using multimedia programs and websites. Regardless, students are encouraged to be creative and show off their strengths. At Clemente, we understand that all students have unique qualities. That is why we design units and summative assessments that allow them the opportunity to engage in the learning process and demonstrate mastery of the IB Assessment Criteria, Common Core State Standards, and College Readiness Standards in ways that are as unique as they are.