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Creative Writing Syllabus

(1/2 Credit English Elective)

Contact Information
Crystal Kay
Office Hours: Before school and after school
Room: Crystals English Classroom (360)
Phone: Google Voice and Text - (507) 550-2444
School Websites:

Course Overview
Margaret Atwood tells us that in the end, we will all become stories. We write to communicate, to
prove to others that we exist, and to share lasting ideas. In this course you will push yourself to
develop your skills as a writer, and will work through multiple drafts to complete a final writers

Central Understandings
Every human being has a story and these stories are worth telling.
Writing is a continual process.
Inspiration can be found through various means including the use of music, art, source text,
media, life experience, etc.
Feedback and constructive criticism are essential in developing skills in writing.

Materials Needed
You will be supplied with a notebook for this course. All daily assignments, including journaling,
practice exercises, and rough drafts will be completed in your notebook. The notebook will be scored
weekly, and must be kept in the classroom. Please bring a writing utensil to class each day.

ELA Standards
As we go through the year, we will utilize the workshop model for reading to master the following
standards: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including
figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning
and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh,
engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.) Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live
production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the
source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American Write narratives and other creative texts to develop real or imagined experiences or
events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event
sequences.dramatist.) Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and
revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks,
purposes, and audiences. Understand, analyze, evaluate, and use different types of print, digital, and multimodal

Texts and Images

Almost all texts and images for this class are chosen for the purpose of spoken and written analysis.
Text and images are subject to change throughout the course.
I. Becoming an Author
A. The Writing Process - WRITE Acronym
B. Why is journaling necessary?
C. Inspiration Activities
II. Poetry
A. Poetic Language
B. Structured Poems
C. Free Verse
1. Assessment 1: Poet Study
2. Assessment 2: Poetry Chapbook
III. Short Fiction
A. Source Text Work
B. The Art of Storytelling
C. Short Film Response
1. Assessment 1: Short Story
IV. Creative Nonfiction
A. Telling the Truth in Writing
B. Source Text Work
1. Assessment 1: CN Short Essay
V. Summative Assessment: The Writers Notebook
A. Fixer Uppers: Building a Final Draft
B. Assembling the Portfolio

Evaluation Procedures
All assignments are assessments. This means that when you complete an assignment, there is a
standard in it that I am attempting to assess. Those standards are graded on a scale of 0-4.

4 exceeds standard; demonstrates complete mastery and conceptual understanding with

no nontrivial errors
3 meets standard; demonstrates mastery of a skill/topic, perhaps with minor errors
2 approaching standard; shows some understanding, with major (or many minor) errors
1 below standard; shows little or no understanding
0 did not attempt

Approximate Conversion to Percentages

Meets Expectations Does Not Meet Expectations

Score Percentage Grade Score Percentage Grade

4 100% A 2.5 62.5% NC

3.5 87.5% B 2 50% F

3 75% C 1.5 37.5% F

1 25% F

0.5 12.5% F

0 (Did Not 0% F

Standards can be re-attempted at anytime throughout the quarter with mid-quarter being the deadline
for any previous work. To formally re-do an assignment that has been graded as an assessment, you
will need to complete a Re-Attempt Form and meet with me prior to re-attempting the standard.

Composition Notebook
Writing Utensil
A free-reading book AT ALL TIMES

Classroom Expectations

* Respect yourself and others in the learning process and in your behaviors!*

Students must show respect to self, others, and property at all times. All actions must be accountability
and respect for self and others. Students not meeting the behavior expectations may be removed from
class which could result in a loss of credit.

Chromebooks and iPads: These devices can limit participation and may be a distraction to
learning; therefore, they need to be used in a responsible manner when dispensed. Devices should be
closed or placed face down on the corner of the desk when not in use. This will allow for quick access
when needed but will not be a distraction to you or others. This is responsible use. If responsible use
is not shown, in accordance with District Policy, such devices will be confiscated permanently.

Additional Requirements When Using ISD 77 Chromebooks or iPads in School:

When sound must be used along with a lesson, please use ear phones. No sound is
Social media and messaging unrelated to the lesson is not considered school use and
therefore should not occur on school devices.
The only permitted social media are the ones directly used with lessons and specially
approved by the teacher for that specific lesson. Some examples might include:
The class website
A linked video from the lesson
Google Docs
Google Drive
Use of school wifi/device/facilities implies abidance with all district policies of Internet
and technology usage.

Cell Phones and Other Personal Electronic Devices: Cell phones and other personal electronic
devices are prohibited in the classroom. Any cell phone seen or heard in the classroom is subject to
the Central High School Student Handbook (pg. 6-7).
Tardies: You should have plenty of time between classes to make it here. It isnt fair to your peers to
disrupt class with tardiness or to require me to repeat instruction to those who are late, so please be
considerate. For every three tardies, you will be asked to make up the missed class time
before or after school.

Cheating and Plagiarism: Cheating and plagiarism (taking credit for work that is not yours) will
not be accepted or tolerated within the classroom. If you are caught cheating or taking credit for
someone else's work, you will lose credit for that assignment. Depending on the assignment, you may
be given an alternate assignment as make-up or you will take a zero in the gradebook.

Specific Classroom Procedures

Need a pass?
1. Raise your hand or seek me out at an appropriate time, unless it is an emergency, to
ask if you may leave the classroom.
2. Sign out on the classroom sign-out board so that I know where you are when you leave
the classroom.

Finished with an assignment early?

1. Finish other World Literature assignments.
2. Study for quizzes/tests.
3. Work on homework from other classes.
4. Grab a book from the shelf or your backpack and read quietly.

Miss a class?
1. Turn in any assignments upon your return to the designated tray in the classroom.
2. Check our class website by logging on to your school Gmail account, going to our
Google Classroom page (I would bookmark/favorite this page for easier access). If you
can, complete work at home; if you cant, see me upon your return to check for missed
assignments. Please be respectful to those around you and do this before school, during
an appropriate time during class (not during instructional points in class), or during
my office hours.
3. Complete any assignments you missed and turn them in when they are completed.
4. If you KNOW you are going to be gone IN ADVANCE OF YOUR ABSENCE, please let
me know as soon as possible so I can gather work for you. TIP: If you get your work
early, you wont feel as rushed to get caught up later! Most teachers, myself included,
will still give you an extension as needed.

Tardy to class?!?!?!
1. Please come in quietly and place your pass (if you have one) on my desk.
2. Please take your seat.
3. Quietly, speak to those around you or come and talk to me at an appropriate time about
anything you might have missed at the beginning of class.
This classroom is a safe zone.

In order to remain in our safe zone,

all behavior expectations must be followed at all times.
Removal from class will always result in a Student Referral (Major).
Behavior Expectation Consequence

Act in a manner that demonstrates respect and pride toward others, Redirection.
self, and property.
All objects should remain safely in our hands or stationary in the Immediate removal from class.
place it belongs. If something must be given to someone or thrown
away, please walk over, and place it there.

Use appropriate voices, volume level, words, and conversation for Redirection, then removal from class. In
school. some cases, immediate removal.

Cell phones, ear buds, and other personal electronic devices must See Student Handbook.
remain put away during class. They should not be seen, checked,
used, or heard.

Only constructive, positive comments should be directed toward Disparaging comments made directly to
self, situation, or others. Direct or indirect insults are not tolerated. others will result in immediate removal.
Disparaging comments toward others are not tolerated.

Follow staff directions. Redirection, then removal from class. In

some cases, immediate removal.

Accept feedback. Redirection, then removal from class.

School devices (Chromebooks, computers, iPads, etc), wifi, and See Student Handbook.
school property is intended for school use only.
It is always ok to share your concerns in a respectful manner,
at an appropriate time, and in the appropriate place.

Always THINK before you speak.

Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?