Thursday, January 23, 2014

We're English 10 Nerds and Loving It: January 23, 2014

Focus: Where do I need to speed up the pace in my memoir?

1. Warming up: A mini lesson brought to you by the opening clip from Up

As you watch...

  • Find at least 10 details/images that reveal something about Ellie and Carl's relationship
  • Next to each detail/image, explain what specific aspect of their relationship it reveals. 

After you watch...

  • The clip itself is less than five minutes long, but about how much time did it capture?
  • What techniques did the film use to capture their relationship?
  • Imagine that instead of showing these clips, a voice-over simply explained, "Ellie and Carl married young and revamped an old house. They wanted to have children, but when they found out they couldn't, they made plans to travel. They never fulfilled those plans, and Ellie eventually grew ill and passed away." What do we lose when someone tells us this story instead of showing it?
  • A take-away: Speeding up doesn't just mean summarizing what happened. It means selecting a few key details that show us what happened without taking pages and pages to explore an event that's not central to your story.

2. Exploring pacing in a sample Sherman Alexie memoir

3. Figuring out pacing in your story:

  • Are there places where you need to speed up? Look for places that are the least related to your turning point.  If they don't have much to do with your turning point but are merely informational, you can probably speed up.
  • Are there places where you could replace a general summary with a few concrete details instead?
  • An example:
    • Summarizing: I went from one class to another. It was just a normal school day.

    • Revised: It's 7:21 am. My day starts off with my favorite class, English 10, and then I move through Algebra II, to World Geography, where I forgot my homework for the third time in a row, and then finally to lunch at Chipotle. 

4. Glimpsing the rubric (it's a work in progress), offering feedback on the rubric itself, and using the rubric to edit and revise your essay or your partner's

1. Continue editing your essay for sensory imagery, slowed down moments, structure, showing (not telling), and sped up moments.

2. Acquire the memoir you're going to read by next Friday, January 31.

3. The FINAL DRAFT of your memoir is now due next Tuesday, January 28.

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