Today I’m cyber-teaching class from home. Well, not really from home. From the park, from Target and Home Depot, B&D Burgers, etc. Ah, days off. And not just days off, but days off for no particular reason (unless, of course, you count a mountain of essays to read and comment on as a “reason,” but I’m trying not to think about that right now, so leave me alone about it already. Jeez.)

Anyway, just because I was gone today doesn’t mean that I didn’t still impose my sick and twisted schemes on a mass of blameless youths who wanted nothing more than to come to school today and be allowed to sit and stare at the wall in peace. Well, I’ll have none of that, not even from home.

The first thing planned for the day was a stupid-storytelling exercise (the stories are stupid, not the exercise) which involved the worksheet available for download at the end of this post. Basically, the worksheet is divided up into sections for each of the major points of “plot” we discussed on Friday. In class, students filled out one section and then passed the sheet along to another student until the sheet was done. My hope was that one stupid idea would lead to another, creating a stupider story than any one student could create on their own. The main point of this activity was to drive home the definitions of the plot-related terms we’re learning, and to see how each part works in a complete story.

After that, the class read the Flannery O’Connor story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” Flannery O’Connor is kind of like a southern, Christian, female version of Quentin Tarantino, and her stories are loaded with shocking events, and, consequently, with foreshadowing. Students were instructed to locate several of these “foreshadowy” elements as they read, in preparation for a quiz on Tuesday.

And that is exactly what they did.


Downloads: Stupid storytelling “plot” worksheet


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