Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Create a Writing Seminar
Ask students to describe the writing process. What techniques work best for them when they are writing a critical essay? A poem? A story? How does their writing process differ for each genre?
Outline the Opportunity
In small groups, students will explore the topic Margaret Atwood: Queen of CanLit on the CBC Digital Archives website and record what Margaret Atwood reveals about her techniques, skill, and processes of writing. Students will use their research as the basis to create a seminar on writing. Each group will narrow its topic down to a specific thesis statement which group members will prove in their seminar. Have each group present their seminars to the class.
Revisit and Reflect
Have students write a journal reflection that identifies how their own practices and beliefs about writing have been enriched by this activity. Encourage them to use their seminars to make inferences about the writing craft.
In some of the clips, Atwood is told that she has a pessimistic view of life, which she says is merely realistic. She points out that stories that are true to life "have wolves in them." Students can write the outline for a short story on a topic of their choice, as long as the story includes a "wolf." Have them share their outlines with the class and explain what the "wolf' adds to the story.