Explorations in Writing: Stories and Poems

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Explorations in Writing: Stories and Poems
Writing Course
Course CodeREAD
Years of Operation2004-2016
Sites OfferedBDA, MTA, NUE, OMS, SAN, STP, WIN
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2004):

Sometimes, characters from a story stay with you long after you’ve closed the book; sometimes, a poem captures a feeling or a picture so perfectly that you want to learn it by heart.

In this course, young readers and writers explore stories and poems across different countries, cultures, and generations. Discussing works ranging from ancient folk narratives to the contemporary poems of Nikki Giovanni, students learn to identify and describe what they admire in a literary work–fresh imagery, creative word choice, realistic dialogue, and so on.

Students then put pencil to paper and practice these literary elements through creative writing and vocabulary games. As they gain new facility in writing, students might discuss the work of the 13th-century Indo-Persian poet Amir Khusrau and then write their own ghazal, or read a Native American peace tale and then contribute sentences to a class story revisiting similar themes.

Throughout the course, students collect their favorite literary works–with comments on what they like about each–as well as their own compositions. By the end of the session, students each create a simple, personalized anthology of writing that is meaningful to them.