Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 1)!

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Tuesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, directors and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in activities that simply cannot be done during a regular class period.

The Midterm experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier and our Librarian, Mrs. Jo Beth Roberts. Our incredible English teachers provide crucial support, leading many of the workshops. Finally, we are thankful for the many talented professionals who spent the morning with our terrific students!

Some of the workshops given include:

Children’s Literature:  Cute or Controversial?

Mary Beth Collins Cook (Willets Road English teacher)

Workshop Description:

Have you ever been offended by a picture book? It sounds silly, doesn’t it?  However, in this workshop, we are going to explore children’s books that have caused controversy for some parents, teachers or librarians. These include titles such as Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Pinkerton Behave!, Little Red Riding Hood, Goodnight, Moon, The Stupids Die, and Where’s Waldo?  After we examine some published books, we will create a piece of writing suitable for sharing with children.

Tackling Social Issues through Character Driven Documentaries

Margaret Galbraith (Documentary filmmaker, Fulbright Scholar)

Workshop Description:

Watching real people living their lives—witnessing their struggles and dreams—can teach us so much about the social issues of our time, not just in the abstract but in their full complexity.  Character driven documentaries allow the audience to identify with the character, feeling their humanity and empathize with their struggles. In this workshop, we will discuss social issue that you would like to focus on in a video that you would like to make, and explore ways for you to find character(s) that bring these issues to life.  We will focus on the groundwork of making a documentary—the research. It is in the research you begin to lay out your story, find characters, begin to lay out scenes, figure out the visual style, and creatively problem solve. This workshop will help give you direction and ideas for how to tackle your next video project.

How to Become a Comics Superstar

Drew Dernavich (Cartoonist)

Workshop Description:

Words plus pictures: what could be better? Comics are a medium that combine the best of both worlds. Contrary to popular opinion, one doesn’t need to be a Picasso with a pen to draw comics. It’s not the ink, it’s the think! There are no rules, but there are principles behind making great comics and cartoons. In this class we’ll look at the unique visual language of comics, and we’ll jump right into exercises to help unlock your artistic imagination and unleash your voice. Whether you want to make drawings that make people laugh, cry, or tell graphic stories which will have a powerful impact, this class will inspire you to be the comics superstar that only you can uniquely be.

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