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Short Story Assignment

from Catcher in the Rye Lesson Plans
For this assignment, I'd like to see you take a weekend or important event (or series of events) in your life (or make one up) and write a short story in spoken language.I'd like to see you write in a kind of updated Holden Caulfield slang for 2003. Don't be worried about using your language. This assignment is specifically designed to give voice to dialect and slang. I will be grading you on your ability to manipulate your SPOKEN language not on whether or not you're writing "proper, academic, standard English." You can swear, you can use double negatives--write like you talk, BUT make sure that it's understandable. Notice that Holden is coherent, even if he has suffered a nervous breakdown and even if he is writing in slang, and Salinger is purposeful as an author.

The other major component of this assignment is the "graphic" part. This means that I'm looking for a picture book feel. You should have pictures which help us to understand your narrator and your story. You may freehand draw your own images; you may cut and paste from magazines. Ultimately, though, your graphics need to support your text in some way. You may be direct--i.e. you bought a jacket so you show a picture of a jacket--or more abstract. For instance, you are in a bad mood so you show a picture of a stormy sky or a nuclear bomb exploding.

Play around with this, always remembering, however, that your job is to clearly describe in words and images. You will need to get colored construction paper which you may fold and make into books of between 10 and 15 pages in length in which you will present your writing and images.

Lesson created by Ailise Lamoreux


Level C Basic Understanding
Level B Application
Level A Critical Analysis

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