Midterm Experience Engages Students (Part 1 of 3)

Our Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students a hands-on workshop to provide insight into how English can be used in future careers and activities. For two-hours, students worked with acclaimed playwrights, poets and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in a way that can be challenging during the regular school day.

The Midterm experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Mr. Collier, English teachers, Mrs. Roberts and the funding of the Wheatley PTO.

Some of the workshops given include:

From Spark to Story (Cristina Moracho, author)

Cristina Moracho read from her novel, Althea and Oliver, “an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love — and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.”  She answered questions about her novel and its two unusual main characters, and then discussed how one goes from the initial spark of an idea to a character, story arc, and eventually a finished product. She provided students with a similar nugget of information and asked them to draw on it to develop a character study, story outline, and begin writing their own story.

Storytelling (Rick Leidenfrost-Wilson, (Wheatley teacher, playwright, director)

We all have a story to tell. In this workshop, Wheatley’s own Mr. Leidenfrost-Wilson helped students bring their storytelling to life. Students examined the art of storytelling as a vibrant and necessary form of communication.  Using voice, character, dialogue, gesture and song, students explored stories and their personal relationship to them.

Eavesdropping 101…Some Words on Dialogue (Jennifer Wolf Kam, Author)

Successful dialogue is not just about your characters hanging out and talking to each other. Effective dialogue does two very important things: it reveals character and moves along your story’s plot. Local author, Jennifer Wolf Kam, discussed techniques for writing dialogue within a mystery setting, using examples from her new young adult mystery novel, Devin Rhodes Is Dead, as well as her short stories and works-in-progress. She demonstrated how her focus on dialogue has informed her writing. Using techniques discussed, students created a brief scene in which dialogue is effectively used to reveal character and develop the story. The students then presented these scenes in a Readers Theater performance.

2 thoughts on “Midterm Experience Engages Students (Part 1 of 3)

  1. Pingback: Midterm Experience Engages Students (Part 2 of 3) | The Wheatley Way

  2. Pingback: Midterm Experience Engages Students (Part 3 of 3) | The Wheatley Way

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