Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 5)!

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 and this previous post and this previous post.


The final set of workshops given include:

Celebrity Interviewing (or…Do You Want to Write for Rolling Stone — even though I never have!)

Jen Calonita (author: Fairy Tale Reform School series, I’m With the Band, Flunked, Secrets of My Hollywood Life, Belles)

Workshop Description:

Do you love movies, music, and TV? Do you dream of someday having a job where you can talk and write about Hollywood all day long? Maybe you have what it takes to be an entertainment journalist. In this class, you’ll work with former entertainment magazine editor and young adult book author Jen Calonita to learn what it takes to conduct a celebrity interview from research to published article. Want in on this class? Be ready to learn fast–by the end of the first hour, you’ll be Skyping with a well-known celebrity and writing an article for The  Wheatley Wildcat.

Note: The celebrity who was interviewed was Robin Thicke, who was so gracious and giving to our students! [Thanks to Mrs. Malik for the video!]


You CAN Judge a Book by its Cover

Ed Kemnitzer (EWSD Director of Technology and Innovation)

Workshop Description:

Have you ever read a book that you loved but its cover wasn’t appealing? Of course you have! Think about how many students pass up on great books because the first look didn’t grab them as a potential audience member.  It is time you take the reins in accomplishing something illustrators have missed with certain titles….create book covers that inspire readership. In this session, you will use Buncee, a digital creation tool, to redesign covers for books that call Wheatley’s library their home.  Using digital stickers, animations, gifs, pictures, videos, and other media content, you will add optic life to books that have awesomeness within the binding. After these redesigned covers are presented to the group, they will be used to brand what is available in our high school library, #wheatleybooksrecovered.


Poetry in the Age of the Selfie

Sonia Arora (Teaching artist, author, writer and poet)

Poetry takes so many different forms. In this age of the selfie, students will use poetry to reflect back on who they are and what they want to represent to the world. All students will leave the workshop with a poetic prose memoir.

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