Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 3)!

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 and this previous post.


Some of the other workshops given include:

Writing as Mind Control

Valerie San Filippo (poet and writer, recipient of the George R.R. Martin Scholarship for Horror Writing; instructor of Creative Writing at Stony Brook University)

Workshop Description

The best writing doesn’t just transport a reader to new worlds; it makes a reader feel what others are feeling. How do writers evoke emotions in their readers? Why do some books suck us into their pages, while other books fall flat? In this workshop, we will explore how small things like description, sound, detail, and sentence structure have the power to influence a reader’s thoughts and emotions.


What Can We Learn from a Turtle?  Analyzing and Creating Children’s Literature  

Lauren Walbroehl (Wheatley English Teacher)

Workshop Description:

The best children’s stories help us understand how to accept each other’s differences and cope with difficult thoughts and emotions. Many books use animals to do this. In this workshop, we will not only explore the effectiveness of this technique in various children’s books like But Not the Hippopotamus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, but also create our own fiction featuring animals.


Tell Your True Story

Jude Treder-Wolff (writer/performer, Social Worker and creative arts therapist;  host/creator of (mostly) TRUE THINGS, a live show that features true stories – with a twist!)

Workshop Description:

The ability to tell a great story is one of the most effective ways to connect with and have a positive impact on others. In fact, research shows that people who tell stories well are seen as more likeable and trustworthy, and that anyone can develop the skills to discover and develop stories that maximize their awesomeness. This workshop will use interactive experience to explore some of the basics of great storytelling about personal experiences, which involves using words, ideas and story structure to carry a listener along an emotional and imaginative journey. We will discuss ways to choose experiences from one’s own life and some skills for transforming true events into artistic, compelling stories.


Will Write for Food

Mike Dunn (Wheatley English Teacher)

Workshop Description:

Do you love food?  Not just eating it but the creation, the look, the all out pleasure barrage on the senses? If so, this is the workshop for you.  In this workshop we will be: Blogging and creating a food website, reading and writing about food and the culture of food, recipe construction, food tasting, cooking demonstration, reviewing cooking shows.  Remember, as Franz Kafka so wisely pronounced, “So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”

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