Critical Thinking about Writing and Storytelling
The goal of this class is to teach students about creative writing and get students thinking about writing, and more specifically storytelling, in a critical manner. Movies, books and poetry will all be covered. Material covered in this class will lean more towards modern stories rather than simply classical literature.
Students will need to be able to do a google search. Students should be prepared to read 20-40 pages (1-2 chapters of a book) in a week, and then write 1-2 pages (double spaced) based upon what they read. Writing assignments will be loosely structured, intended to encourage critical thought. Strong reading skills are a must, and at least basic typing skills are recommended. Students must be willing to come to class and join a group discussion based on the homework and reading assignments.
Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to think critically and apply basic principals of the humanities. Students will learn to critically deconstruct stories, form educated opinions, and select and present supporting evidence to support their opinions. Questions the students will be able to intelligently discuss will include: How do the challenges of writing differ for each type of writing? What different criteria do we use when judging? How do those criteria change with the medium? What makes a story "good?" What is the difference between "good" and "enjoyable?" Students will also be building vocabulary through some of the works covered by this class.
Homework will include regular regular reading/watching assignments, as well as writing assignments not to exceed 2 pages in length.
Some tentative topics:
My Experiences as a Dungeon Master: Why good Storytelling is Hard.
Elements of Storytelling: How authors keep (and lose) our attention.
The Trope: Common story elements and why we keep using them.
Star Wars (episodes 4-6): What makes a memorable story?
Is Harry Potter a good story? Discuss.
Shakespeare: Making up new words for fun and profit!
Shel Silverstein: Playing with Sounds
Edgar Allen Poe: Why do we like sad stories?
Exit Exam: Why do so many people like "The Princess Bride?"
Class materials: #2 pencils, suitable notebook.
The Princess Bride (Book)
Shel Silverstein's "Falling Up" (Book)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Book)
Star Wars Episode 4 (movie)
Teacher: Gregory Wenger
Age Group: 10+
Minimum/Maximum number of students: 5/10
Materials Fee: $21
Greg holds an Associate of Arts and is in his senior year at the Goodwin College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University. He has extensive experience teaching children ages 7-15 in small group settings.
Family must register for LOGYC Coop in order to sign up for classes.