- The House of Dies Drear
- Teacher Plan 7
Beyond the Literature
Teacher will guide the writing process so that each student will write a descriptive short story. Students should incorporate the ideas that they learned in the previous weeks lessons on descriptive writing (Using a thesaurus, choosing THE BEST word for a situation, using words that show the mood and theme of the story, making interesting sentences, etc.)
Students should choose a mood that they want their readers to experience as they read their story. The plot, characters, setting, and so on, can be developed and worked into the mood once it is established. Some moods might be joy, sadness, anger, fear, confusion, anticipation, etc.
Students should cluster or brainstorm ideas, words, and phrases which come to mind when they think of this "mood". This brainstorm can be used to generate ideas for the story.
Students work to write an initial draft, concentrating on a full, DESCRIPTIVE story.
Students share their stories in small groups or partners to receive feedback and suggestions (NOT CRITICISM!). Other students can give suggestions about parts that are unclear, unnecessary, could use some more descriptive, or maybe some other ideas to add to the plot. The writer is under no obligation to use these suggestions, but may use any or all of his or her Response Groups helpful ideas.
Students work to perfect their stories grammatically. Checking that each sentence makes sense, that all capitals are in place, that all punctuation and spelling as correct, and that it is written neatly. Students may wish to have a peer edit their work as well.
Student work can be bound in a classroom book, or reproduced so that each student can have a copy of this book of stories. If facilities and time permits, the teacher may wish to have the students type (and save!) their stories on a word processing program. A student should be selected to design a cover, and the class should select a title for the anthology.
- table of contents
- The House of Dies Drear
These additional activities seem to lend themselves particularly well to this novel. They may be used as additional "Beyond" activities, or other products along the way.
- A Diorama
- A Collage
- A "Hidden Picture"
- A Family Tree
- A Map
One lesson in the "Draw Man" art lesson video tapes has to do with how to draw "spooky houses"!
- Supplementary "FYI" Sheets taken from McDougal Littell Literature Connections series.
Some other critical thinking/writing activities:
- What would happen if everyone looked alike?
- Research and compare slavery in the United States in the 1700s and 1 800s to slavery in other countries in similar or other times.
- Research the changes in Civil Rights law since the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Discuss the statement:
"All men born free; all men created equal. America is a land of plenty abounding in poverty."
Badt, Karin. The Underground Railroad: A Three-Act Play. Erie, PA: Discovery Enterprises, Ltd., 1995. (This play, which features 14 speaking roles and a chorus, explores the escape of four slaves from Virginia).
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