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The exercise we do on Day One has been very successful as an icebreaker.I ask students to write for five minutes; I keep a list of ideas in case the students need a jump start on their writing.
An occupational therapist by profession, I have been writing for as long as I can remember including for the high school newspaper and possibly even before that.
Back then I periodically wrote letters to the editor for the local newspaper; many years later, I am still writing editorials.
We then do the day’s activity; students write a descriptive story their pictures.
Near the end of class, students volunteer to read their story.
I am always impressed with the clever storylines that even the youngest students create.
This session encourages students to get out of their comfort zone and try writing in a different style such as adventure, mystery, humor, suspense, or science fiction.
The class meets four afternoons a week, for two consecutive weeks. The classroom is equipped with computers and writing desks and has an LCD projector which is handy when I want to demonstrate a lesson for the class.
There’s a specific topic for each of the eight sessions, and I’ve deliberately designed the class content so that perfect attendance is not a requirement.
On the first day of class I give the students all the printed materials for the class.
These include a class outline; guidelines to critique writing in terms of plot, setting, characters, and so on; and a list of books, magazines, and websites with more resources for aspiring writers.