مشاهدة النسخة كاملة : Teaching Creative Writing


abouzeyad
21-11-2010, 06:58 PM
Teaching Dialogue




UNIT: VOICES IN THE DARK Focus: Dialogue


The purpose of this unit is to develop skill in dialogue writing. [As a tip for new teachers. Design assignments that require or necessitate the skills which you wish the students to develop rather than just tell them to focus on a particular area. The following unit is an example of this principle

In this unit the writer-narrator sets up the plot situation in a beginning paragraph-not too lengthy. In this plot situation, the narrator -can not see- [either blind or blindfolded, etc.], -but can hear- two speakers, one "for" and one "against" the narrator. The dialogue should comprise 85% of the paper. The two characters discuss 'back and forth' focusing mostly on the 'blind' narrator rather than on each other. [The speaking characters may be 'developed' as well as the narrator through the dialogue.] The dialogue may have a theme

*Incidentally the 'for and against' part of the assignment builds a tension and interest in the plot for both the reader and the listeners

Note for the teacher: Writing dialogue is challenging and you might have an assignment where students first listen to what others say, and write down their words precisely in a dialogue journal. That way when they write dialogue, students won't project onto the character dialogue that might not be fitting. The dialogue will be more exact, precise, and realistic. *Don't expect Mark Twain quality dialogue from beginning writers. If the dialogues are to be read by the students orally, you might want to look at teaching oral reading in the haiku unit



Teaching Haikus



Work on reading skills so that students can present their writings in the best manner. All the assignments except the first one using Haiku's are presented orally by the students before they turn them in. Therefore they need to have their assignments completed by the due date. If the teacher lets the students volunteer, it causes a better class spirit, but some students may put off finishing on time because they rely on others to volunteer. All assignments are to be typed except those written in class and as journals




UNIT: HAIKU Focus: Clarity of Expression


Haikus are underestimated in their challenge and value as a writing assignment. I assign only two or three. When possible, I assign them the week before spring break so the students can work on them over the vacation
Haikus by definition are: a form of Japanese poetry which states in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables a 1.) clear picture designed to arouse a 2.) distinct emotion and suggest a 3.) spiritual insight. A tradtional haiku is written in the following pattern:
A blank page of sand-
At the water's cutting edge
The pattern shaping

I don't don't work much on defining 'spiritual' but simply confine it to an 'aha!' or 'light goes on' experience. This assignment requires very little writing but requires much thought and focus and if done correctly, the benefits carry on to longer assignments. The students write their haikus in the traditional pattern but I show them Japanese haikus translated into a couplet form

Excellent haikus may be found in 'A Net of Fireflies' by Harold Tran Stewart. As Stewart illustrates, the Japanese haikus translate better into English couplets than into the traditional haiku form of three lines of 5, 7, 5, syllables. Stewart's haikus contain the other more important elements of haikus and I use them in class to illustrate these elements and use a few more basic haikus to teach the haiku format of three lines of 5, 7, 5, syllables
I hand out some of Stewart's Japanese haikus which we read and discuss in the same manner as we will later discuss student haikus. I have the students take turns reading these haikus and discussing them in relation first to clear picture, then distinct emotion, then spiritual insight

This practice helps students realize what qualities a haiku should possess, and helps them to begin being involved in a discussion without being as self-conscious as they might be discussing their own writing
Therefore, I read the students' haikus since this is their first assignment and they don't know how their writing will be received. I read an 'anonymous' student haiku. Then I ask the class what the 'mental image' (clear picture) is. As various people comment, the writer can see how the writing is perceived. Next, we discuss the 'distinct emotion,' and then the 'insight.' Sometimes the writers may anonymously want to state the purpose that they thought that their haiku contained. When this unit is done with accuracy, tact, and consideration, the students learn how to give and take feedback, and they do not mind reading their own assignments next time. Note: creative writing classes work best when the seating is in a circle

Below are some examples of what I feel are exquisite haikus from a Net of Fireflies




THE RECLUSE



In my ten-foot bamboo hut this spring
There is nothing; there is everything
--Sodo



THE SPRING SEA



All day, with gently undulating swell
The spring sea rose and fell, rose and fell
--Buson




A ****TER OF LEAVES



A sparrow, springing on this bamboo-cane
Chirps at the downward sound of steady rain
--Ho-o



LETTER AND SPIRIT



My ears had found the sermon dull and stale
But in the woods outside-- the nightingale
--Shiki



THE SILENT REBUKE



Angrily I returned; awaiting me
Within my court-- the tranquil willow tree
--Ryota



INVENTION



People caught by suddenly pouring skies
What ingenious hats they improvise
--Otsuyu



LIVING IN POVERTY



Though faint and from afar, the cool breeze comes
Crookedly down my alley in the slums
--Issa



ALIVE



So much vitality in so few inches
A perch of hopping, chirping, spotted finches
--Ho-o



THE RUINS OF TAKADACHI FORT



Over the warriors summer grasses wave
The aftermath of dreams, however brave
--Basho



"EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY"



What happiness to wake, alive again
Into this same gray world of winter rain
--Shosha



FLORAL REPAIRS



The morning-glory flowers have opened, patching
My hermitage's roof, which needed thatching
--Issa



ICY SURPRISE



A wintry blast: the mountain storm is here
A hailstone skips into my horse's ear
--Tairo



THE ONLY TRACE



The traveling monk has vanished in the mists
But still his little silver bell persists
--Meiutetsu



AFTER THE DEATH OF HER SMALL SON



Alas! How far beyond recall today
My hunter after dragonflies you stray
--Chiyo



THE BROKEN RESOLUTION



Another year departs: the bell is tolled
--And I never intended growing old
--Jokun



THE TASK



O timid snail, by nature weak and lowly
Crawl up the cone of Fuji slowly, slowly
--Issa








Not completed
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المهندس
21-11-2010, 08:09 PM
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