Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 2)!

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!

I have shared information about some of the workshops in this previous post


Some of the other workshops given include:

Lyric Writing: Lessons in Framing the Sentiment

Alan Semerdjian (poet,​ ​songwriter,​ ​and​ ​educator)

Workshop Description:

Alan Semerdjian returns to facilitate a presentation/workshop on the basics of songwriting.  Students should be prepared to hear and conduct short studies of live and recorded music, review fundamental aspects of songwriting and some of the language associated with the process, and do some writing themselves mostly in the form of lyrics.  Students who play guitar or some other kind of easily transportable chordal instrument are welcome to bring it to the session.


Your Voice, Your Choice: Public Speaking for Everyone 

Elise May (performer, teaching artist, elocution and dialect coach, winner 2017 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award)

Can’t get enough of that Ted talk?  Be the inspirational speaker you know you can be!  Using short personal writing, this workshop will incorporate theater voice games and techniques to give you the confidence to boldly go where you haven’t gone before. Your words have power – learn to let your voice have power, too!


Thinking Like a Writer

Todd Strasser (author, Summer of ‘69, The Wave, Give a Boy a Gun, No Home, Wheatley Graduate)

Workshop Description:

Many films, plays, and novels share common story elements, such as exposition, conflict, rising action, crisis, climax, and resolution. In the first part of the workshop, we identify these elements in popular films and novels. In the second, highly interactive, part of the workshop, students will discover why these elements are essential by creating a story of their own. In the process we will examine character and plot development, theme, back story, foreshadowing, subplot, and many other aspects of creative writing. By the end students not only have a greater understanding of story structure, but have experienced “thinking like a writer” as well.  

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