Every Object Has a Story
Subjects covered: English, Creative Writing
Targeted age group: Elementary School
In this lesson students will use items from the scrapbook as the central part of a creative writing assignment. After viewing the pages of the scrapbook each student will choose one item to build a short story. The students should be encouraged to use the objects in different ways. They can imagine a story about how an object came into Catherine Hering Jensen's possession and why it meant enough to her to save it in the scrapbook.
Additionally they can build a story around a name on a birthday card or a person in a photograph. An interesting idea would be to imagine what circumstances led to the balloon being saved.
The student will:
- * gain the experience of working with primary source material.
- * gain experience about looking at an object from a different point of view.
- * stretch their imagination to create their story.
- * Three class days or class periods.
- * One day to become familiar with the scrapbook and select objects.
- * One day to write a story.
- * One day to revise and share with the class.
Classroom setup and materials:
- Computer or projector to view scrapbook.
- Typical materials used for writing assignments i.e. journals, loose leaf paper, pencils.
- If space is available in the computer lab, divide the class into groups for viewing the scrapbook. If computer is unavailable, use an overhead projector to acquaint everyone with the materials. Have students take notes on what objects catch their attention so that they can start brainstorming ideas.
- Give student a chance to make selection.
- In the next class period have student write about their object. Remind them that they are supposed to be writing stories, not just describing the object. Impress upon them that the item must be worked into the fabric of the story. They should be thinking about the who, what, when, where, and how of the object.
- Allow time for revisions.
- Have the students share their stories.