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Creative Writing at Sandwich High School

by Lori Horan, English teacher – Sandwich High School

As famous poet and story teller Roald Dahl said, “Whether it is with a group of characters or an idea for the plot, begin to write. Everything develops under a pencil as you begin to write. It really does.”

Stravinsky, a great composer, was asked, “Maestro, where do you get your ideas? In the bath? Shaving? Or exploring the woods in the moonlight? And he responded, ‘At the piano.’ ”

And so, that is exactly what the creative writers did this fall – they wrote!  As they pondered poetry, investigated published authors, and read as writers, 10-12th graders submerged themselves in writing. Their journey continued by creating poetry in a variety of forms. Students also devoted time to fiction writing, creating 10-25 page stories.

Students explored literary elements to create fascinating fictitious stories from on subjects from love to war. Nonfiction brought students to places, people, and concepts they may not have thought about previously. With all writing pieces, students journey through the writing process as writers do, writing, revising, editing, and conferring on diction, sentence structure, conventions, and other strategies to help them grow as writers.

Soon weekly sharing “coffee hours” were born and all looked forward to selecting a piece to share on Fridays. An individual writing portfolio completed our semester as each student selected twenty individual writing pieces, and created a hard-cover book that housed their best work.

From poetry to short stories, students selected piece of writing that reflected their best work and expressed who they are as a writers. Students continued the creative process by adding visuals to accompany their writing.

Submerged in creativity, students became better writers and listeners and completed the class with a writing treasure – their own book.