On What I Hope This Site Can Be

A Message from the Editor: For those of you that know me, and no doubt today, at the start of this project, many of you...
grammar as meaning

Grammar as Meaning in ‘Dear John’ Letters

Students are often intimidated by grammar because they're led to believe it's a case of 'right' or 'wrong.' Some students get so caught up...

Activity: Refurbishing

I recently read a quotation by Janet Finch, who reminds writers, “You’re a writer and you have to invent it from scratch, all by...

Evaluative Scavenger Hunt

One of the areas of writing I teach is evaluation.  Students learn that we make assessments based on quality, opposition, rankings or comparisons, and...
creative writing activities for college students

Characters, Conflict, and Goals

It can be difficult to reveal connections between key elements of craft in fiction writing classes, but this activity is designed to do just that.
Photo by Alex Vasey on Unsplash

Write Your Own Fairy-tale Handout

This handout is a creative writing exercise I use in my Speculative Literature class when we do a unit on fairy tales,...
office challenge

The Office Challenge

Office hours can feel long, laborious, and lonely when no one shows up, especially in the beginning of a semester. One way I've found to increase my students' use of office hours is to challenge them to meet with me. 
Revision activities

Five Revision Activities

Five revision activities you can use either inside or outside the classroom to show the importance and effects of revision. 
activity

Analyzing Privilege

In our current, cultural landscape there are many divisive topics that individuals associate with while dismissing contrary perspectives.  It is easy to disregard what someone else has to say when there is a gap in empathy and connectivity.  The goal of this exercise, in dismantling, or “checking one’s privilege”, is to allow students to see what kind of advantages they may take for granted while overlooking some of the obstacles others may have to face on a daily basis.
imagery

Concrete Imagery in Poetry Scattegories

To begin: I have students call out a list of abstractions. Usually we end up with some variation on the following: fear sadness joy depression ...

Invitation to the Voyages

"Invitation to the Voyages" is an exercise I use to teach imagery. It can be adapted for any writing genre. 
grade reflection for students

Four Ways to Enhance Grading

Sometimes grading seems like a mystery to students so helping them understand how we reach our conclusions is a beneficial step in their learning process.
touchstone moments

I Was Wearing Them the Day–Touchstone Moments and Details for the Fiction Writer

I’ve always been interested in the question of where the fiction writer finds material. I’ve always been particularly interested in how the autobiographical gets...
writing anxiety

Exploring the Output of Writers

A great piece of advice for any writer is to read as much as possible. If one wants to write novels, reading great novels...

Drawing, Doodles, and Sketches

Most of the activities and assignments in our classrooms revolve around writing and reading, but having students draw, sketch, or doodle can give them news ways to express and connect their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. In this artical you'll find five ways to help students embrace their visual skills.

Ransom Notes

If you're looking for a different type of in-class activity to get students thinking about word choice, you'll find it with this fun but challenging task.
in-class activity

Post-It Notes Activity

This is a great first-day exercise used to create a sense of community as well as clarify questions or misconceptions about the course. It can also be used mid-semester as a check-in for the class.
workshop creative writing feedback

QCS Workshop Responses

Silence in the classroom can be awkward, especially when your students are tasked with discussing their peers’ work in a creative writing workshop. I’ve found...
critical thinking activity for college students

Zombie Apocalypse & Critical Thinking

It can be difficult to engage students in critical thinking, but this activity helps students think outside the box and anticipate problems. I've found...
Current Events Article Activity

The Current Event Article

I’ve taught multiple sections of composition over the years and without fail a majority (but not all) of my students have little interest in...

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tristan-gassert-420689-unsplash

Time in Narratives

A simple handout that illustrates key concepts of time in narratives by comparing them to the basic controls we use when watching videos. Feature image...
office challenge

The Office Challenge

Office hours can feel long, laborious, and lonely when no one shows up, especially in the beginning of a semester. One way I've found to increase my students' use of office hours is to challenge them to meet with me. 
career profile assignment

The World as Seen, Heard, Experienced, Written

An assignment sequence where students explore the world of the arts, beginning with photography and increasing in writing involvement and critical scrutiny through the worlds of music and film before finally concluding in a work of literature. Through these various lenses, students examine both the status of these arts, what goes into evaluating them, and their relation to their campus, its history, and the world at large.