Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.

More

 

Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.

More

 

Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Rummaging for Fiction: Using Found Photographs and Notes to Spark Story Ideas

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

Rummaging for Fiction: Using Found Photographs and Notes to Spark Story Ideas

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Junius Wright

Junius Wright

Charleston, South Carolina

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • select photographs and found notes to use as sources for creating conflicts and characters in an original work of fiction.

  • identify and create original examples of setting, character, conflict, and resolution.

  • engage in the processes of brainstorming, drafting, editing, and revising to complete an original work of fiction.

  • submit an original work of fiction for peer editing and evaluation.

  • use their knowledge of character, conflict, and resolution to edit and evaluate a peer's original work of fiction.

back to top

 

Session One

  1. Share with students the goals of the assignment and look at a Sample Story from Found Image and Letter to discuss the relationships between the image, letter, and story. In this sample, the photograph and letter are directly related, but they certainly do not have to be.

  2. Take students to a computer lab with print capability and direct them to the Online Photograph and Document Resources page that you bookmarked earlier.

  3. Instruct students to find an engaging image of a found photgraph and an interesting found note or excerpt from a letter or journal. Photographs should contain at least one person who is not an easily recognizable historical or cultural figure.

  4. Have students copy and paste the images and text they find into a word processing document and print them out for use in the next session. Ask students to include the Web address for each resource in the document.

back to top

 

Session Two

  1. Begin this session with a study of the found images, having students sketch on a clean piece of paper the major components of their found photograph. Ask them to examine the details in the photograph closely, but not to worry about creating an actual copy of the photograph. Instead, encourage students to use stick figures, basic shapes, and simple symbols to represent each component.

  2. Have students use short, concrete phrases to label the individual components they have identified.

  3. Then, have students select a person from the photograph. They should write ten or more questions about how individual concrete details in the photograph relate to the person they selected. For example, they might pose questions about the relationship of this person to other people in the photograph or to specific objects or places depicted in the photograph. Is one detail more significant than another? Why is this so?

  4. Finally, have students select a name for the person from their photograph.

back to top

 

Session Three

  1. Shift students' focus from their images to the found letters or notes. Have students read their found note or excerpt and imagine that the character they identified in the photograph discovers the note. What might happen when the character discovers the note? What is its significance to the character? How does the character feel about the note?

  2. Ask students to use their found note and photograph to respond in writing to either option A or B. Students will use this brainstorming activity for work in Session Five.

    • Option A: Write a one-page description of the photograph from the point of view of the character you selected in the photograph. Your response must incorporate three or more details from the photograph, answer five of the questions about the photograph that you created in the first session, and explain what happens when the character in your photograph discovers the found note.

    • Option B: Write a mock interview session with the character you selected in your found photograph. Your response must incorporate three or more details from the photograph, answer five of the questions about the photograph that you created in the first session, and explain what happens when the character in your photograph discovers the found note.

back to top

 

Session Four

  1. Explain to students that they will use an interactive tool to further develop the character they selected from the found photograph and to establish a setting and conflict for a short story. They can use the response they wrote in the previous session as a starting point.

  2. Provide students with access to ReadWriteThink's interactive Literary Elements Mapping Tool. Have students use the tool to plan their short story by completing the graphic organizers for character, conflict, setting, and resolution.

  3. As students work, use the guiding questions in the Teacher's Guide for the Literary Elements Mapping Tool to help students complete the activity. The Guide suggests questions for each step in the tool to help students think through how to incorporate the various elements.

  4. Have students print out a copy of each of the graphic organizers they created in the mapping tool as soon as they complete them. Note that work done in the tool cannot be saved.

back to top

 

Session Five

  1. Have students use the notes and graphic organizers they compiled from the previous sessions to write a draft of their short stories. Remind students to include all the elements of a short story in their writing. You may want to give students a copy of the Short Story Editing Guide to serve as a checklist for the expected elements of their work:

    • Characterization, including concrete details about primary and secondary characters

    • Setting, including concrete details about where and when the story takes place

    • Conflict, including clearly established protagonist and antagonist

    • Resolution, including a believable resolution to the conflict
  2. Allow students time in class and at home to complete their stories.

back to top

 

Session Six

  1. Give each student two additional copies of the Short Story Editing Guide. Have students use one copy of the guide to review their own work.

  2. Have students exchange papers with a partner and use the second copy of the guide to review their partner's paper.

  3. Allow students time in class and at home to revise their short stories based on their self-editing and the feedback from the peer-editing.

  4. Students should turn in the final draft of their short story, along with all of the work they completed during sessions one through four. Final work should include each of the items listed on the Short Story Completion Checklist.

back to top

 

STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • Use the Short Story Completion Checklist to evaluate each student’s performance in completing the following steps in the writing process: brainstorming, drafting, editing, and revising drafts.

  • Use the Short Story Editing Guide to evaluate and offer feedback on each student’s final draft.

back to top