This vignette writing assignment focuses on having students model Ernest Hemingway's "Iceberg Theory" of writing. It can be used in conjunction with a Hemingway unit or it could be used strictly as a writing assignment (and the teacher can take out any reference to Hemingway so as not to confuse the students).
The assignment contains a 17-slide PowerPoint that takes the students step by step through the assignment. The theory is to get students to condense their writing and "show" instead of "tell" when they write. The PowerPoint contains student examples of "telling" with an edited version of "showing."
The PowerPoint also contains four photos to give the students something to think about in order to write their vignettes. A student chooses one of the photos, comes up with the story of what's going on with that photo, and then writes a vignette.
There is a 1-page direction sheet you may or may not choose to hand out (since the PowerPoint gives the directions), as well as a 1-page rubric for easy grading of the vignettes. The documents come in Word and in PDF.
The vignettes MUST be between 100 and 300 words, so they are relatively short for high school students.
The short vignettes are excellent in order to have peer editing and reflection because a writer's classmates can read the vignettes quickly.
Once the final versions are drafted, students enjoy reading them to their classmates. Students find this assignment exciting because it's interesting to hear everyone's different ideas that all focused on a few photos.
Ernest Hemingway Items for Sale in My Store
Ernest Hemingway Introduction on PowerPoint with Student Outline
"In Our Time" by Ernest Hemingway: Test, Study Guide, & Answer Key
"In Our Time" Notes on Ernest Hemingway's Book of Short Stories (PowerPoint)
"A Clean, Well Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway: Text, Questions, & Key
Vignette Writing (Modeling Hemingway's Iceberg Theory)
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