AP English teacher Dan Doyle is treating his seniors to a more “fun,” but still mindful, take on their curriculum at the close of their high school career.
Dubbed the “creative writing unit,” Doyle has been giving his students the freedom to express themselves in response to prompts in the days leading up to his final. For the actual final, Doyle allowed his students to create a set of parameters that must be included in their written final instead of a traditional presentation or timed formal writing.
“The final is meant for students to enjoy themselves,” said Doyle. “They get to use the guidelines and make a unique short story that their classmates get to read. My students get a kick out of seeing how phrases and ideas are incorporated into the pieces.”
The parameters of Doyle’s assigned writing project are quite unstructured. He encouraged his students to write a short story that contains their chosen words such as “Mississippi” or “That’s what she said.”
Senior Devon Wood said, “There is definitely the challenge of creating a work that is cohesive, but I think that we’re enjoying the task and producing good writing.”
For Doyle’s 3rd period class, they must include a gathering of people in their story, the phrase “I put in a lot of time,” a fire, a song title, and their story must end with the word “snow” or “Mississippi.” In 4th period, the parameters are to include the word “uncouth,” a garden, a foreign word, the phrase “That’s what she/he/it said,” and conclude with the words “awkward” or “morning.”
“It’s a nice break from all of the essay writing we’ve done this year,” said AP English senior Lauren Kline. “It’s different than all of the other finals I’ve taken in that the final isn’t about memorizing and taking a multiple choice test.”