English 9 Syllabus

Robert E. Lee High School
Creative Writing
Instructor(s): Mr. Shutt
(540) 332-3926
Course Objectives
Students will explore published voices and their own creative voice with the following mediums: poetry, fiction,
creative nonfiction, drama, and screenplays. Students will observe and mimic the styles of published writers
as they develop their own style and voice. Students will write daily and revise multiple pieces of writing for
peer presentation and future publication. Students will learn to constructively critique their own writing and
the writings of their peers. Students will construct portfolios of their best writing to share with Lee High’s
creative writing community.
Anne Lamont’s Bird by Bird
Clips from Brave New Voices; Stranger Than Fiction (PG-13)
Classroom Rules
 Be respectful.
 Be prepared.
 Allow others to learn.
Grading Scale
A+ = 98-100
B+ = 90-92
C+ = 82-84
D+ = 75-76
= 69 and below
Conduct Rubric
A—Responsible, Respectful
B—Occasional Lapse in Good Behavior
C—Inappropriate Classroom Behavior
F—No Improvement in Poor Behavior
A =
B =
C =
D =
Grading Percentages  Daily Creative Journal: 25%
 Participation: 15%
 Polished Creative Writings: 60%
 Midterm/Final: 15% (Averaged in later)
Students will typically be given time to complete all work in class; however, several projects will be
assigned for completion at home, and any work not finished during class will be expected to be
finished at home or during plus block.
Home is a great place to think, observe, plan, write, and revise.
Late Work
If a student does not attempt or is absent for an assignment, he/she will receive an Incomplete for
that assignment. The Incomplete will remain until the assignment is completed and will be calculated
temporarily as a zero. Five points will be deducted for each day an assignment is late. After an
assignment is six school days late, the maximum number of points that will be deducted is 25
points. Example: An essay is due on Monday, October 3. The student turns the essay in
on Wednesday, October 12. Although the assignment is seven days late only 25 points will be
deducted. The due date will be calculated according to the Student Handbook & Code of
Conduct policy: “… the number of school days absent plus one to a maximum of 10 days.”
It is the student’s responsibility to initiate make-up work during plus block or after school.
Other Expectations
Take chances with your writing.
Try everything even if it isn’t your thing.
Do your best.
Participate: share your writing and respectfully analyze your classmates’ writing.
NO cell phones or electronics.
You know the school’s expectations and rules: follow them daily (dress, food, etc).
Allow me to teach.
Allow others to learn and write.
Get to class on time and stay until the end.
Revise and edit your writing.
Don’t be afraid to chalk it up as garbage and start again and again and again.
Watch what you say.
General Course Outline
First Semester
--Poetry (6 weeks)
Show vs. Tell, Tone, Theme, Metaphor, Simile, Personification, Hyperbole, Sound Devices, Meter, Stanzas and
Line Arrangement, Allusion, and the following poetic forms:
1. “I Am” poem based upon Plath’s “Metaphors”
2. Abstract to Concrete poem based upon Hughes “Crystal Stair”
3. Etheree poem
4. Slam Poetry
5. Japanese poetry: haiku, tanka, senryu
6. Dedication Villanelle
7. Sestina Narrative
8. Sonnet to the thing we hate the most
9. Original Form (with specific criteria)
--Creative Nonfiction (3 weeks)
Show vs. Tell, 6-Word Memoirs, Satirical Commercial, Memoir excerpt
Midterm (Portfolio Due)
Second Semester
--Fiction (5 weeks)
Choose a Pen Name; Show vs. Tell, Character Development, Conflicts, Setting, Theme, Tone, Story arch,
Irony, Twists, Point of View, Genres, Dialogue; and the following Products:
Original Drabble
Second Person Point of View Flashfiction
Dialogue only Flashfiction
Original Drabble in different genre (flashfiction)
Character Project: character creation and journals
--Drama and Screenplay (4 weeks)
Show vs. Tell, Character Development, Conflicts, Setting, Theme, Tone, Story arch, Irony, Twists, Point of
View, Dialogue, logistics of drama and screenplay format; and the following Products:
1 Act Play
Screenplay excerpt
Final Exam (Final Portfolio Due)
Daily Routine
 Journals: Students will write daily, responding to creative writing prompts
 Reading: Students will be expected to regularly read the works of published writers in order
to understand both good and bad examples of creative writing
 Lesson
 Responding to the Lesson through writing
 Peer Critique / Show and Tell