Fantasy Unit in Writers Workshop

Families,

The fantasy fiction unit in Writer’s Workshop will ask students to use the workshop format to draft multiple story ideas, choose one draft for further development, revise, conference, edit and publish a finished piece of fantasy fiction.  Students will learn about sub-genres of fantasy fiction including science fiction, sword & sorcery, magical worlds, horror, dystopian, and anthropomorphic. The focus of the writing is develop rich detail in characters, settings, problems and solutions.  We ask students to incorporate the Origins throughlines in their stories to fully explore the origins of their fiction world and characters.

Teaching points in this lesson will include, but are not limited to:

  • Writers use tools to generate ideas.
  • Story starters help us get the origin of character, setting and plot.
  • All elements follow the rules of the fantastic world/origins are the author’s choice.
  • Writers create fantasy characters that are a mix of realistic and fantasy characteristics.
  • Writers create fantasy settings and problems that are a mix of realistic and fantasy characteristics.
  • While collecting entries, writers need to play with describing this place, including details about the setting.
  • Writers make sure that by the end of the story you know about the character, flaws and strengths.
  • Writers choose one possibility and list out all the possible problems and solutions in regards to this larger context.
  • Writers may solve one problem but the big enemies are still undefeated to be dealt with another day.
  • Writers think about the land and sky, weather, people, transportation, and homes and other buildings.
  • Writers make sure every character has a purpose: Allies, Antagonist, Bystander
  • Writers ask: Does my reader know exactly what the character has to accomplish in order for the problem to be solved?
  • Writers are reminded that solutions do not come out of nowhere.  They need to fit with the  rest of story.

 

The Indiana Academic Standards include expectations that students write clear sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea.  Students should create interesting sentences by using words that describe, explain, or provide additional details and connections.  Students need to make varied word choices to make writing interesting. Students should be able to write narratives that establish a plot, point of view, setting, and conflict and those stories show, rather than tell, the events of the story. Students should be able to progress through the stages of the writing process, including prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing multiple drafts. That students review, evaluate, and revise writing for meaning and clarity.

Student stories will be evaluated on the following rubric:

Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1
Characters Clear protagonist(s) and antagonist(s). Motivations, appearances, personalities fully described. Characters are described briefly.  Motivations, thoughts, or personality not described fully. Characters exist but are not described in detail. Protagonist and/or antagonist characters are missing.
Elements of Fantasy The world created has clear,vivid, elements of fantasy writing that are consistent within that world.  The elements are central to the story. The world has some elements of fantasy but they are secondary to the story. The world has few elements of fantasy writing.  The elements are inconsistent.  The story would be unchanged if elements were missing. The world does not include elements of fantasy writing.
Plot/Problem/

Conflict

The problems/conflict is central to the story. The problem/conflict the main characters face and why it is a problem is clear. The problems/conflict is secondary to the story or not fully developed. The problem does not drive the story. It is difficult for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face and it is not clear why it is a problem. There is no problem or It is unclear what problem the main character faces.
Solution/ Resolution The solution to the character’s problem is easy to understand, and is logical. There are no loose ends. The solution to the character’s problem is easy to understand, and is somewhat logical. The solution to the character’s problem is a little hard to understand. No solution is attempted or it is impossible to understand.
Setting Many vivid, descriptive words are used to tell when and where the story took place. Some vivid, descriptive words are used to tell the audience when and where the story took place. The reader can figure out when and where the story took place, but the author didn’t supply much detail. The reader has trouble figuring out when and where the story took place.
Organization The story is very well organized. One idea or scene follows another in a logical sequence with clear transitions. The story is pretty well organized. One idea or scene may seem out of place. Clear transitions are used. The story is a little hard to follow. The transitions are sometimes not clear. Ideas and scenes seem to be randomly arranged.
Mechanics Writing contains correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, complete complex sentences and correct use of capitalization. Writing contains few spelling and grammar errors; and has correct punctuation and complete sentences. Writing contains some spelling and grammar errors; most sentences have correct punctuation and are complete.  I used simple sentences. Writing is hard to read and contains many spelling and grammatical errors.
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