All posts tagged: TCIC

Sample Lesson Plans for Literature and Creative Writing Courses

Lesson plans, readings, and resources to inspire your students. 

 

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Bring The Common into your classroom: poems, essays, stories, and images that provide fresh perspectives on place and placelessness, home and belonging, migration and exile. Our issues frequently feature works in translation and special portfolios, including annual portfolios of contemporary Arabic fiction in translation published each spring.

    • Connect students to the global literary community.
    • Develop critical thinking, close reading, and rigorous analytic writing skills.
    • Inspire creative expression and encourage students to think of themselves in the roles of writer, editor, and publisher.

 

Lesson Plan: Group Assignment & Student-led Exercise 

Divide students into small groups (trios work well) and give them a week to:

  1. Meet together outside of class with their copies of The Common in hand;
  2. Select, as a group, a poem they particularly like,
  3. Prepare to read that poem aloud to the class, and
  4. Design and lead an in-class writing exercise for their classmates and teacher that is inspired by a technique or aspect of that poem.

Example

One group chose Fatimah Asghar’s poem “Kul” from Issue 14, read the poem aloud, and noted that it was based on one word that could mean several, potentially opposite things – a contronym. The students had generated a list of contronyms in advance and projected them on the board (e.g., “sanction,” “oversight,” and “left”). They then invited their classmates to write at least a few lines of a poem that would, in their words, embrace these opposite meanings.

“I like this exercise not only because it gets students engaging with the fresh texts in detailed ways (at the same time we are all receiving and getting into our new issues) and working together, but also because it gives them a sense of what it is like to be in front of a class, teaching (potentially useful information for those who may be considering that path.)” – Amy Weldon

Adapted from Amy Weldon, Professor of English, Luther College

 

Lesson Plan: Discussion

Student-led discussion:

Ask student groups or individual students to lead discussions on essays and poems from a single issue, identifying specific attributes of place-based writing and how that might apply to their own writing and/or how they perceive the places they inhabit.

Workshops:

Ask students to read all the poems, stories, or essays in a single issue, and to discuss them as a group—how they fit together and/or form a cohesive group across the whole journal, almost as if discussing a collection of poems, stories, or essays by a single author. How do they fit together with the rest of the issue?

Assignment

Identify a poem (or story or essay) from the issue that uses memory to link a past and present experience with place; write a poem (or story or essay) that functions in a similar way, but draw from your own experience.

Adapted from Curtis Bauer, Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

 

« Teach The Common

Learn more about teaching The Common and request a free sample issue.

Sample Lesson Plans for Literature and Creative Writing Courses
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Resources to help you plan for the fall semester

We know this fall’s going to be a weird one. We’re here to help with your classroom (or home school) planning! 

Here’s one thought: 

Give your students a break from the screen by putting print issues of The Common in their hands– just $20/student: 

Two issues for each student, free desk copies for teachers (that means you too, parents!), as well as sample lesson plans and related readings. You can also schedule a Zoom visit with the Editor in Chief, providing students a window into the world of editing and publishing. Or, we can facilitate a virtual visit with one of our contributing authors. 

Resources to help you plan for the fall semester
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Literature and Creative Writing Resources for Your Remote-Learning Needs

During this difficult time, we want to take the opportunity to highlight a few educational resources we offer that are readily available for at-home learning. Even while stuck at home, you can use works from The Common to connect your students to new voices and perspectives from around the world, while also deepening their own sense of place. Several recently published web features will also offer students examples of how literature can help us to reflect upon the present moment.

Literature and Creative Writing Resources for Your Remote-Learning Needs
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Virtual Office Hour for Teachers

Virtual AWP, Virtual Office Hour for Teachers: Please join us Thursday, March 5th, at 4pm ET via Zoom.  
Unfortunately, we at The Common had to cancel our trip to San Antonio, but I hope you’ll join me and Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Acker via video conference to chat about The Common‘s classroom program and our supportive resources for teachers and students. We’ll also be joined by Professor Judith Baumel (Adelphi University) who will share her experiences and answer your questions about teaching The Common
 
 
 
image of class
 
Questions in the interim? Send to Liz Witte, Associate Editor and Director of The Common in the Classroom at [email protected]! Know of a friend or colleague looking for a syllabus refresh? Forward them the link to this page so they can join, too.
Virtual Office Hour for Teachers
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Sample Lesson Plan for Literature in Translation

Learn more about teaching The Common and request a free sample issue.

Living with an Author and a Translator

Adapted from Curtis Bauer, The Common’s Translation Editor, and Director of Creative Writing Program and teacher of Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University.

In this exercise you will explore the multidimensionality of a poem, essay, or story by “living with” the author and translator: reading and thinking about their work every day for a week. This is a multi-step assignment so read carefully and make sure you plan in advance.

Sample Lesson Plan for Literature in Translation
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Sample Lesson Plan for World Literature: Arabic Literature in Translation

Learn more about teaching The Common and request a free sample issue.

World Literature: Arabic Literature in Translation

Using Issue 11: Tajdeed

Adapted from Marilyn Sides, Senior Lecturer and Director of Creative Writing, in the Department of English and Creative Writing, Wellesley College

1) Read: Mohammed Rabie’s “Burdens,” Muhammad Khudayyir’s “The Hush Void,” and Mahmoud al-Rahabi’s “The Passing Carts,” as well as the “Contributor Notes” for these authors and their translators.

Sample Lesson Plan for World Literature: Arabic Literature in Translation
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