These lessons cover basics of creative writing over two days, using the short stories of Ernest Hemingway for inspiration. While I love teaching this unit, I’ve found it difficult to concisely title these plans—they include different elements of both reading and writing (and a little bit of literary history) almost simultaneously. Ideally, your students will admire Hemingway’s craft while working on their own.
My students immediately appreciate the accessibility of Hemingway’s simple diction and syntax. Soon thereafter, they quickly learn to love the use of his “Iceberg Theory,” a style in which only a small part of story is explicitly apparent on the surface, and the bulk of the matter is submerged, invisible, and must be inferred. With practice, the students realize how applicable these reading lessons are—so often, the people around them are only giving small superficial hints about what they’re thinking or feeling at a deeper level.
This unit is meant to be simple, yet comprehensive. It starts with relevant grammar terms to review, and a brief lesson on Hemingway’s style—nothing overwhelming, just sufficient enough to get them started. Following that, there are six excerpts for students to practice their analysis (along with a couple of handouts), and some sample responses for your reference. And finally, students get to apply their learning to their own creative writing. There are also a couple of quick prompts, and suggestions for future reading.
For those who use the CCSS, each lesson has been carefully CCSS aligned (as reflected throughout the unit).
Common Core with Uncommon Literature is happy to share these lessons with you, and ask that if you enjoy them to please rate them here, and tell others what you think. We appreciate your support, and would love to hear your feedback. You can find us on Twitter at @TheMrGodsey
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by Michael Godsey
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License