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Grauer 9th Grade English Class: Creative Projects

From Paige Prindle, 9th Grade English Teacher: As part of our first-semester autobiographical, coming-of-age unit, 9th Grade English students created Identity Maps as a way of brainstorming the different elements of their identity as they relate to their ancestors, childhood, present self, and future self. These Identity Maps were then used as a starting point for students to write their own series of free verse autobiographical poems that they self-published in their own handmade zines.

As part of our study of Edgar Allan Poe and gothic literature, the students completed two creative projects to express what they learned. The first is a "One-Pager" that encourages students to use words, images, and color to represent the themes, language, character, and setting in Poe's short story "The Black Cat." Each part of the One-Pager focuses on a different element from the story and its connections to the gothic genre. The second project, Blackout Poetry, gave students the opportunity to "discover" their own poems hidden in the words of Poe's story "The Fall of the House of Usher" while aiming for a gothic mood in their word choice and accompanying imagery.

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