Classroom Strategies

I had students read this as their first homework assignment. After reading the story, they had to write a creative piece, the length of which they decided, in the vein of “How to Become a Writer,” in which they described to readers how they could become something the student could relate to (or not relate to, as the case may be). Examples: how to become a soccer player, video game expert, knitting pro, etc. I used this assignment as a way to get to know my students and also as a way for them to get to know themselves through reading and writing. It was overall very successful, though next time I do it, I will give them more guidance in terms of what I expect from them. I don’t expect them to be great (or even good) creative writers, but I should have given them more guidance on how to show they took the assignment seriously no matter what kind of creative writing skills they have. It was a really fun way to get to know my students, and some of the pieces were just excellent. (The best one I got was “How to Become a Hipster,” and it was brilliant.) [Stephanie Goehring,]