Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th-grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English skills 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!
In addition to the workshops described in this post, students also benefitted from the following:
What Can We Learn from a Turtle? Analyzing and Creating Children’s Literature
Lauren Walbroehl (Wheatley English Teacher)
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!)
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 likable and trustworthy and that anyone can develop the skills to discovern and develop stories that maximize their awesomeness. This workshop will use the 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.
I Am More Than My Selfie
Sonia Arora (Teaching Artist, poet and documentarian)
Using the smartphone in your pocket, the basic elements of cinematic storytelling and your own ingenuity and passion, you can make micro-documentaries (micro docs) that reach millions of people. You might even change the world a little bit. We’ll look at the burgeoning phenomenon of social media micro-docs, watch some of the most effective, and examine how they work. Then you’ll apply the essential elements of narrative and the basic vocabulary of cinema to a potential micro doc, learning how to find and capture a nonfiction story, and share it with the world.