Friday, September 30, 2005

Outline: Writing Curriculum for Class of Sophomores

[This was an assignment I did for a teaching of writing class.  I had to come up with an outline of a curriculum for an imaginary class of sophomores (10th grade)]
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Outline: Class of Sophomores

Start of class with a semi-formal writing assignment so I could gage their abilities: as individuals and as a class.  (What I did this summer?  Well, maybe something a little more creative).

Obviously, the course outline would be adjusted based on how I assessed these first writings, but for the purpose of this assignment:

I would structure no creative writing part into the course, but instead encourage students to be creative in all their writings.

The most important part of writing is, of course, purpose and audience, so this is what I would stress during the first few weeks.  This would be taught at first by example, as students read different selections, and then respond to those selections and try and determine the author’s purpose and audience.  The students will be writing in this period, although their writings will primarily be these responses.  Near the end of this period, the students will be given hypothetical situations, and will work on writing their own works with purpose and voice in mind.
The focus of the course will change slightly after this, and students will assume for most of the assignments that their audience is either the teacher or the class, and not as many hypothetical situations will be played with.  The new focus will be formal papers, with the initial emphasis on having the student understand the structure, and then, once this is mastered, have the students work on style and making the papers creative and fun with-in a formal setting.
I imagine at this point we are halfway through the semester.  The second half will be spent initially fine tuning the above.  The students could do a research paper, something that would be big deal, a long project, perhaps even in conjunction with another discipline to import some content in the course.

At this point, I imagine the students are getting sick of papers, so for the last part of the year, the course will focus on mopping up loose ends.  Students would learn how to write business letters, argumentative papers, and stuff like that.  If students are getting burnt out, frequent creative writing assignments can be interspersed.

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