Each session, middle school learners are presented with a writing challenge during Genre, which occurs twice each week during the afternoon. The writing challenge for learners in Session 2 is to complete a work of short fiction.
“Genre” is a writing quest in which learners work on a specific genre of writing— for example fiction, speeches, and technical writing—that changes every session. In Genre, learners go through a writing process that includes idea generation, pre-writing, drafts that get critiqued by other learners, revisions, editing, and publishing. They also focus on the “Six Traits” of effective writing: idea development, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, and conventions (spelling, punctuation, and grammar).
Genre this session began with idea generation—about the genre of short story learners would choose (fantasy, comedy, sci-fi, etc.) and the theme they wanted to explore. Some of the themes learners chose were “discovery,” “love and sacrifice,” and “acceptance.” While generating ideas, learners also considered the protagonist—what he/she would be like, his/her flaws, and his/her growth or realization by the end of the story. Further, they thought about the “vibe” of their story. One learner said the vibe would be “mysterious.” Another learner said the vibe would be “heartwarming.”
After the idea generation phase, learners started pre-writing and drafting. Once they are done with this, they will begin peer editing and revision to come up with a second and then a final draft.
As the plots have developed and taken shape, learners have been enthusiastic about sharing their stories with peers. They will present their final stories at the next exhibition.