Lesson, Day 1: What is this class about, anyway?

Contributed by Jaclyn Bergamino, 2015 On the first day of class, I wanted to start getting the students talking about the ideas. I divided the class into two groups. I was teaching on the theme of love, sex, and marriage so I brought quotes about writing and quotes about love all different, the same number […]

Lesson: Brainstorm Inkshed Party

Contributed by Jaclyn Bergamino, 2015 To get students thinking about research topics, I often use the Research Paper Topic Generator Game and then take it a little further. Once students have their lists of things that evoke them, I have them choose three and write them on spread out on a piece of paper. They […]

Lesson: The Mind as Place

  The Mind as Place “The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.’ —Paradise Lost, Book I Though he’s the devil, Milton’s Satan makes a keen point–our perceptions are the governing principle in how we process where we go and where we’ve been. It’s […]

Sample Course Sequence: Autoethnography

Definition: Autoethnography is a blending of autobiography and ethnography. Autoethnographers describe and analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. This genre acknowledges subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher’s influence on research — rather than ignoring these matters or claiming to be objective. The genre demonstrates that cultural research does not have to come from […]

Lesson: Sensory Stations

1. Sight Station ∙ Look at the following six images by Christoph Niemann. ∙ Can you describe them using visual language? ∙ In what ways is the artist playing with metaphor? Sight Station (1)     Name: ____________________________ Date: ______/_______/ 2012 Group # ____ Sight Station ∙ What do you see here? Sound Station ∙ […]

Garden Gnome Liberation Mini-Project

  What I’d like to offer here is an example of how you can take a similar concept–a seemingly silly non-academic topic–and use it in a classroom on a smaller scale. In my class, before launching the zombie project, we spent several class periods working with garden gnome liberation, and my students had the option […]

Synthesis Unit Plan: The Zombie Project

This is a fairly large-scale project that builds upon itself and is meant to take up the entire unit, culminating in one final research paper. The project includes many smaller elements besides the final paper, including free-writing, blogging, interviews, reviews, and collaborative work with peers. It’s a bit complicated to explain, so here’s the basic […]

Lesson: Sentence and Context

This activity asks students to look closely at sentences and challenges them to create and change meaning through a variety of techniques. The goal is to get students thinking carefully about how they construct meaning, at a sentence level. It’s also FUN – there’s lots of room here to play around. I’ve never gotten through […]

Lesson: Vampire Games

(Like Reindeer Games, But Bloodier and Less Festive) A serum has been invented which has the power to turn everyone on the earth into a vampire. All of earth’s inhabitants have elected to take the serum, thereby effectively changing 100% of the human race into vampire-kind. The Pope, your grandparents, your former swim coach. Synthetic […]

Lesson: Battle of the Sentences

Bringing the Sentence Workshop (Macro in the Micro) To a New Extreme I used this for my unit on Analysis. It took about 15 minutes. This can be done with student produced sentences, or sentences between texts you wish to compare. For my exercise, I chose Deborah Tannen’s “There is No Unmarked Woman” and Lennard […]

Prompt: Place Essay

Observation (100 Points) Purpose:  To draw from a variety of observations that will allow you to focus on possibility through observation. Your essay will rely heavily on selective description and perspective. Instructions: Select a “place,” and describe it in detail. This could be where you grew up, a place you feel most connected to, somewhere […]

Prompt: Narrative Fan Fiction

PAPER #1: NARRATIVE ESSAY – Fan Fiction REQUIREMENTS: 4-5 pages typed (or more), double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman Font MLA heading and page numbers Rough draft must be edited and signed by a Writing Center tutor. EXPLANATION: For those of you who don’t already know, fan fiction is just what it sounds like: fictional […]

Lesson: Observation and Perspective

(Consider taking students to the museum or the transfer station and having them choose an “object” for this activity) Read Wallace Stevens’ “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.’ In the poem, Stevens describes 13 different ways of looking at a blackbird. Some of Stevens’ observations are concrete others are more philosophical. Your assignment is […]

Lesson: Photo Observations

Part 1: I will display a photograph for one minute. After the minute has expired, I will remove the photograph and ask you to write for 10 minutes about what you saw in the photo. Please include as much detail as you can possibly recall. Details of character, scene, expression, mood, emotion, sense of time […]