Advanced creative writing class assignment
Use the following story to design a writing assignment that will work with your students:
After a high school creative-writing instructor visited the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit, she knew she wanted to take her entire class. She arranged for her class to have several hours in the exhibit so that students could immerse themselves in the experience and then use their writing skills to capture the experience.
Students could opt to write in any one of the genres the class had studied, and they could write about the entire exhibit or just one piece of it—whatever touched their hearts.
After the students gathered their ideas, they each produced one piece—a poem, a song, an essay—to give voice to their insights and impressions. The group then published their works into a booklet, which they titled “The Aftermath.” They distributed the booklet as a way to share their insights with many others in the school. The second year the class toured the exhibit, they published "REAL. LIFE. Voices" [PDF].
This teacher gave her students the opportunity not only to have a profound experience by exposing them to REAL. LIFE. for their peers in various parts of the world but also to help them find the words to bring that experience to life. Many people who visit the exhibit are speechless when they finish; they have no words. But these students gave us all a gift. They reached inside and found words. Powerful words, in many cases. Their words bring depth and contour to the exhibit experience.
Read several pieces from “The Aftermath” and the 15-page "REAL. LIFE. Voices" [PDF].