Creative Writing Curriculum

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by Iceblink, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Ipswich Town FC
    United States
    I'll make this short, since I'm doing ok in creating this curriculum for the upcoming school year. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything!

    I'd like to hear from teachers and students in this one.... and teachers as former students... and students as future teachers... and... hehe.

    What do you think absolutely needs to be covered in a creative writing course?

    Do you have any lesson plans or methods that work particularly well for a certain topic?

    Students, what have you done in creative writing classes that you've enjoyed or that have helped you develop as writers.

    Now that I think about it... writers should chime in too! Where's Irvine? It'd be great to hear from a published writer about what he thinks people should know.
  2. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 New Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    The City
    For me, I think writing is a gift, and if you have the right classes and teachers this gift can be nurtured. It's sad really, I've only been out of school for a little over a year, and I can't recall anything I did in English/Rhetoric courses in College, let along High School. 23 is old. Damn.
  3. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    I have an MFA from the Writer's Workshop (poetry). I don't have any experience teaching young 'uns, but I will say this. If you have students who take an interest in poetry, drill into them the necessity of learning form. If they're resistant, tell 'em that form is one way of "getting away" from the decisions one is most likely to usually make. It forces a person to choose different syntax and different diction.

    Forcing form on a bunch of students who have only a mild interest in poetry, however, will probably provoke a classroom uprising. ;)
  4. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire

    Here be the website for the legendary Teachers and Writers Collaborative, founded by Kenneth Koch or some other New York poet and a bunch of other people. Tons of resources here, some of which you'll want to shell out for, others of which you might want to get your school to buy (well, I almost kept a straight face typing that one ;) ) Anyway, TWC is, besides the haiku of course, the English teacher's best friend.

    Oh, here's a direct link to their writenet page, which I found pretty useful last time I taught jr and sr high kids.
  5. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    I've designed curriculums for creative writing classes numerous times in my head, trying to find the perfect CW class. I've been a student in so many poorly designed writing courses, so I basically just try to avoid the mistakes in the courses I've experienced.

    I would cover every genre of writing (whether they like it or not :)), such as poetry (both form and prose poetry), drama, short fiction etc. I figure I would start with a relatively new type of writing: creative non-fiction. This would give the class the chance to get their feet wet without having to come up with anything completely fictional, and I think it could help them find their voice.

    After covering each genre (showing the class examples of each and having each student create at least two "polished" works of their own) I would then have each student determine the genre they would prefer to work with. They would then work on creating more "polished" works in that genre, receiving more specialized instruction and feedback for that form. (I used to hate it when I would get professors who obviously loved poetry spend the vast majority of a CW course on poetry.)

    I would grade the course via a portfolio handed in at the end of the year. The portfolio would have at least two polished examples of each form, along with rough drafts, as well as a number (say, 5 or so) of polished works in their chosen form.

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