Prompt 1: Describe the past 24 hours of your life. If your life wasn’t exciting enough for story-time, feel free to use your imagination and spice things up a bit – as long as your work stays school-appropriate!
Prompt 2: Describe your favorite memory or memories from your childhood. Use details – think about how Let the Great World Spin and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius packed so much into such little spaces, and don’t forget your vocabulary words!
Prompt 3: Tell me a story about either a) your best friend, b) your favorite sibling, or c) your favorite parent. You can play a part in the story if you like, or it can be about something that happened to them when you weren’t around.
Prompt 4: Describe what you think will happen on the first day of the school year. What will you see? Hear? Talk about? What will the campus look like? How will it feel to arrive, and how will it feel when you get to the last bell?
Prompt 5: Give me the setup for a mystery – but don’t solve it! In other words, start a story without ending it.
Prompt 6: If you could see anyone, go anywhere, try anything, learn about anything – what would you see/visit/try/learn?
Give me good, solid work on each of these - no single-paragraph-and-call-it-a-day stuff. Remember, you're putting all of these in the same Word document before uploading to Turnitin.com. Try to use as many vocabulary words as you can, but use them correctly; check how they were used in their specific stories if you need to double-check!
In a similarly-sized narrative piece (34 paragraphs, about 4-5 pages single-spaced), write a story that will send me Googling, so to speak. Use references I would need to be you to understand – nicknames the family gave you, cultural details, political events you remember, significant moments, etc. By that, I mean that I should be able to recognize some of what you’re discussing, but in order to get everything without looking it up first, I probably would’ve needed to live your life.
The ten things you'll need to include in your piece:
1. Cultural relationship between you and your parents – ways your culture(s) have shaped you similarly and shaped you differently
(Example from Shooting Dad: The ways American political culture and gun culture influenced how Sarah and her father acted toward each other)
2. Something you and your parents agree upon that helps define your relationship
(Example from Shooting Dad: Sarah comes to realize that both she and her father are "artists," or at least similarly driven by what they love/are passionate about)
3. Something you and your parents disagree over that also helps define your relationship
(Example from Shooting Dad: Sarah and her father retreating to their respective workspaces because neither values the other's work)
4. Touchstones of home, memories of growing up, etc.
(Example from Shooting Dad: Shooting crows, moving guns aside to make room for cereal, etc.)
5. Description of parents’ world, workplace, place to relax, etc.
(Example from Shooting Dad: Sarah's father's gunsmithing workshop)
6. Description of same for you
(Example from Shooting Dad: Sarah's room and what she did there)
7. Memory of a parent trying to teach you something that was important for you, them, or both – something that helps define your relationship
(Example from Shooting Dad: Sarah and Amy "learning" to shoot the gun like their father)
8. Pop-culture, entertainment, or history, shared or separate, that indicates/illustrates something about your interactions
(Example from Shooting Dad: Tons - the John Wayne references, the Reagen-era disagreements, etc.)
9. Family history (grandparents in their younger days and earlier) that is important to you, them, or both, and how it explains your relationship with your family
(Example from Shooting Dad: The family backstory behind the cannon)
10. Something you do together today that explains who you both are and how you relate to each other
(Example from Shooting Dad: Sarah going with her father to shoot the cannon)
Here’s your syllabus! Please print out a copy and bring a signed version with you to class tomorrow.
For future reference, our Turnitin.com class ID is 6590872, and the password is B2B2.
+ Respect each other, at all times. Be honest, but don't be cruel. Only write what you could say to someone in person with me standing by.
+ Respect the school – they’re the ones providing us with server space!
+ Follow all district guidelines regarding appropriate content – don’t post something that gets you in trouble!
+ Avoid smiley faces, shorthand/acroynyms, and other linguistic oddities from the Digital Age ("i" instead of "I," "u" instead of "you," etc.)...I wouldn’t think I’d need to put that in writing, but it’s been an issue before!
+ Be honest, present, participatory, and enthusiastic!
This is going to be fun – let’s see what the next few weeks have in store!