.Explain the assignment and answer any questions. Their challenge will be to compress that potentially complex discussion into nine words. An example story from a Wisconsin paper can be used if desired. Session Two: From Newspaper to Short Story As an opening activity, students respond to the following question: summarize the difference between journalistic and fiction writing in no more than three sentences. Share articles and the Venn diagram with students: If you have computer access, direct students to Websites for local newspapers or the Associated Press , which will link to the local newspaper. Choose a student volunteer to read the article to the class. Read a short story or chapter together and use the Narrative Pyramid to reinforce those concepts and model how to use the printout. On the third line, students use three words to describe the setting or list multiple settings in longer works. On the next three lines, students describe three key events of the plot using the corresponding number of words: five, six, and seven.
.Their challenge will be to compress that potentially complex discussion into nine words. This is a way for students to revisit the work completed the previous session and as homework. Students who are better readers may finish the story ahead of you; so let them know that they should begin writing ideas to use for the class article.
After reading the article, arrange students into groups of three to five students and have them sketch out the story elements for a short story based on the article.
The second invites students to describe the character in two words. This is a way for students to revisit the work completed the previous session and as homework. Remind students that the writing due the next session is a draft, not a final copy.
An example story from a Wisconsin paper can be used if desired. Read the story. On the last line, students use eight words to communicate the resolution of the conflict. Remind students that the writing due the next session is a draft, not a final copy.
Explain to students that today they will practice condensing a short story into a news article. Pass out copies of the article questionnaire to all students.
Students can also read the story silently. Circulate among the groups to answer questions and monitor on-task behavior. You may also want to discuss the use of facts in expository writing, comparing the tone of an article to a short story. Other teachers use journals or have students complete similar activities on notebook paper.
I have students keep a separate Daily Activity notebook. If you have Internet access for all students, you may direct students to an online story. Not all students will have the same observations, so this sharing allows you to let students teach each other by pointing out aspects missed by others.
If you choose to have students bring their stories to a final draft, the sketches they write serve as a prewriting activity. Homework: Students should read their assigned article and complete a sketch of story elements similar to the one completed in class, using their notes and the rubric to help them compose. Instruct students to return to the Short Story Prewriting handout as they complete the task. Explain your rating.