Exploring Great Works of Literature
Whereas each week has a particular focus on the type of writing that will be done, the strength of the curriculum comes from the years spent researching and honing pedagogical methods geared towards specific age groups and circumstances. Whether the class is writing poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, every short-burst writing session (about 10-15 minutes per drill) begins with a “trigger” reading during which the students listen to the teacher read a work from established authors and the students note what stands out to them. These ideas and images that start to settle in their minds are the jumping off points for the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction the students will be writing in class and on their own time. Using great works of literature to inspire students’ own works of writing is a time-tested source of inspiration and direction.
Imagery, memory, self-expression, emotion…all of these attributes of writing the students will find through their own discoveries.
The curriculum is built around the Workshop experience being more cerebral and thought out, rather than automatic and passive. Students are encouraged to thoughtfully explore their work, the works of other students, and the work of established authors in order to realize their full potential with expressive, creative writing. The Workshops’ ideology is built around the belief that reality, as it is experienced by the student/writer, needs to be approached with language, and language is intrinsically linked to a sound experience of and interaction with reality.
Sample lesson plans will be made available during information sessions and one-on-one conferences between the teacher and the administrators.
At the end of the 4-/6-/8-weeks, the students will have the opportunity to invite family and friends for a class reading of the works that were created during the time spent in workshop.
Because Borough Writing Workshops is a nonprofit and relies on donations, we are able to supply the text (a special anthology of poetry and prose put together specifically for the Workshops) as well as pocket dictionaries, notebooks, and pens/pencils, all of which will be used for every class session and that the students keep, and which the weekly “assignments” will draw on.