My students are assigned two passages to read each week for the first five weeks. With midterms last week, we only got to reviewing the fourth set today.
The article gave tips for developing comedic writing, which the class elaborated on in terms of how it could help general writing skills. I then asked them to look for points in The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde where these tips were used for humour or to emphasise other points.
We listened to the fiction passage (successfully this time) but it turned out that the audio version was slightly different from the edition I had asked my students to read. Oops.
Still, I think it was a great experience for students to read the shorter version of the story by themselves and get used to the language and style before hearing an extended edition read out dramatically. I had hoped to send the students out in teams to pin point some of these moments in the story and share these with their discussion thoughts.
With time running out, though, we had to move on to understanding the basic elements of the next class assignment. This task has students propose an idea for their final, longer story. We talked about methods of research and students pondered over what element of writing they wished to improve in order to make their next story stronger in literary expression. Another interactive activity I had planned on and usually do with students is to send them off to find possible sources for writing research. Perhaps I packed too much into this one lesson and should consider separating the topics next time I teach this class.
The biggest excitement of the day was that the bigger deadlines are looming. A few students had concerns about all the tasks yet to complete. It's natural that they would worry, after all, their peer reviews and notes from me have only just been returned and the deadline for the final version of their short stories is coming up.
In fact, looking at the class schedule last weekend, I considered swapping around the current classes and the following set. After seeing the heaviness some students had because one assignment was starting while another was yet to be completed, I have decided that I will swap these around next term. This is only a minor change compared to the mid way through term changes I made in the autumn and even as I edited the syllabus to teach this spring. It's good for teachers and writers to adapt and be adaptable. I'm sure my students are struggling with this skill enough as they read their review notes.