Constrained Writing Introduction for High School ELA: Univocalism and OuLiPo

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Zip
11 Slides, 11 Pages
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  1. Save 20% with this bundle containing writing activities for the high school ELA classroom. Inside you'll find:Technology Themed Activities- This includes quick writes, an essay, a presentation project, a reading with questions, and more.Writing with Imagery- Have your students produce beautiful imag
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This lesson deals with constrained writing as a form of creative writing. There is a PowerPoint slideshow that introduces some specific types of writing constraints including Oulipian (OuLiPo) constraints. I use this to introduce my poetry unit as it gets my students to really think about constructing a piece of writing in an incredibly thoughtful and fun way. The lesson culminates with a group activity dealing with univocalism- writing with just a single vowel. Students are broken into five groups and each group corresponds to one of the five vowels. This lessons demonstrates the power that single letters wield in creative writing and poetry.

The PowerPoint contains teacher's notes that direct you on the activities included. There is one slide that briefly discusses the Six-Word Memoir and there is a corresponding handout if you want to do a quick activity. The main activity for univocalism comes with excerpts from a text that employs this writing constraint and a planning sheet for groups to develop their own univocal piece of writing. This activity is surprisingly challenging in a way that pulls in even my most reluctant students. Many of my students have told me that this is the most memorable lesson of the year because it's something they have not encountered in any class before. I use this primarily with 10th Grade English Literature students.

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This lesson is my absolute favorite English Language Arts lesson of the year and I often use it when I know I'm having an observation. Various administrators have raved about the level of student engagement and how unique this particular activity is.

Total Pages
11 Slides, 11 Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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