Alliance Kory Hunter Middle School

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Mr. Joshua Henderson » Home

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Creative Writing Information

I have completed the grading process.  It has proven to be very time-consuming.  I have worked for over 60 hours this last week to provide EXTENSIVE feedback to each of you individually concerning issues regarding grammar and story structure.  This feedback has also been reflected in the gradebook.  Grades are now 100% up-to-date.
 
I will now provide an image on a weekly basis below to detail any updates, and so you can get a realistic measure of how your story structure grades continue to compare to your peers.  I recognize that it can be hard to receive story structure feedback, but remember ... it has never been unexpected that these grades would feel crushing.  We have been preparing for this reality all year.  Narrative writing ... is DIFFICULT.  <-- Understatement of the year.  Right?  Reach out to me.  Reach out to each other.  We are a team, and if we work together, we can all produce high-quality writing that is worthy of publication.
 
I believe it can be helpful to see evidence that you are not alone facing the challenges I have presented to you.  I have removed your names and the letter grade associated with the percentages that are visible in the snapshot below, but I thought it might be reassuring to see that you truly are not alone in your struggle.  Take solace in the knowledge that there is more than enough time to address all of the issues I have identified in your story if you apply yourself properly to the tasks at hand. 
 
Also, I am available to help you any time you desire (barring my being unconscious).  As always, I can be reached at:  jhenderson@laalliance.org.
 
Note: some of your stories will require more than one complete wave of edits from me in order to repair issues regarding story structure.  Last year, some students required as many as five waves of feedback.  Some required even more.  Do take some reassurance in the knowledge that each wave is likely to be considerably easier to resolve than the one that preceded it.  <-- Yay!  Silver-lining!  
 
To reiterate, ALL STUDENTS can now expect to have received EXTENSIVE feedback and would be well-advised to begin repairing issues I have identified with their stories immediately!
 
I will do a full wave of similar inline edits on ALL of your poetry once I am done grading the Unit 5 Essays for my Film Studies classes.
 
Thank you for your patience and understanding!

An example of good characterization ...

In 1990, a young woman named Adeline lived in Florida. Adeline was
preparing her fancy meal that she would always make herself. Adeline’s kitchen was amazing, and it inspired her to put a lot of time and energy into her cooking. The kitchen was modern, with marble countertops and floors. It was very spacious, and she kept it very, very clean. Adeline liked to keep her house clean because she liked to stay active while she was home, and she had come to find that a clean living space permitted her to do all of the things she loved. She made breakfast for herself because she lived alone in a giant house. Even for breakfast she would put extra effort into her cooking. She would make eggs with basil, cinnamon toast with sugar, oatmeal, breakfast salads, and she enjoyed dancing while she cooked. Adeline liked to dance to jazz songs because it gave her a head start to a great day.
 
MANY OF YOUR STORIES STRUGGLE WITH CHARACTERIZATION (AND SETTING THE SCENE).  IN THIS ONE PARAGRAPH, ONE OF YOUR PEERS HAS SUCCEEDED IN TEACHING ME SO MUCH ABOUT HER MC IN VERY LITTLE TIME.  I HAVE BEEN GIVEN A REASON TO CARE ABOUT THIS CHARACTER.  WITHOUT EVEN DESCRIBING HER HOME IN GREAT DETAIL, I CAN VISUALIZE A HOME FILLED WITH WARMTH AND MUSIC AND SUNLIGHT AND JOY -- AND I HAVE A REAL SENSE OF THE PERSON WHO OCCUPIES THAT SPACE. 
 
THIS IS WHAT I AM TRYING TO GET YOU ALL TO DO WITH BOTH YOUR SETTING AND YOUR CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS.  THIS IS WHERE SO MANY OF YOU ARE FALLING SHORT.
 
I HOPE THIS EXAMPLE HELPS.  
 
PERHAPS AS I ENCOUNTER OTHER EXEMPLARS, I WILL UPLOAD THEM.
 
KEEP CHECKING FOR UPDATES HERE ON MY PAGE.
 
AND IF YOU NEED HELP, CONTACT ME BY EMAIL.  BARRING MY NEED FOR SLEEP, I AM TRYING TO MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE TO YOU 24/7.
 
THANK YOU.