monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

2 minutes reading time (309 words)

Today's Workshop on Setting

So I was at Hebrew Academy again this morning, this time to do a workshop on setting. We spent the first half hour on theory. I explained how setting is a way of taking your reader with you -- transporting your reader to another time and place. I also talked about the importance of selecting sensory details in order to create an overall mood or impression -- and we looked at several YA authors' use of setting in their books. 

After that, the students went to work -- producing some surprisingly excellent stuff, considering they only had about 20 minutes (we used the last 10 minutes for reading out loud). Danielle is working on a story about a German Jewish family forced to share their home at the start of the Holocaust. Danielle's narrator explains that her "older brother slept on the floor next to the armoire" and that she and her parents are "all squished into one bed." In these phrases, Danielle manages to transport us -- showing she's understood the use of setting. 

While the others were writing, Charlie came over to show me his work. He warned me, "It's not done." Of course, I thought this was very deep! "Not done means Charlie's piece is a work in progress -- like all good writing. I told the students how my YA book On the Game went to seven (count 'em -- seven!) before it was ready!

And -- on a lighter note -- Shira (creator of Penelope Prune, whom you may remember from a previous blog entry), told me a joke on English teachers. Here goes:

John says, "I is...."

His teacher interrupts him, saying, "No, it's 'I am!'" 

"Okay," John says, "I am the ninth letter of the alphabet!" 

The moral of that is -- sometimes even English teachers make mistakes! Have a great day wherever you are!

Visit to College Brebeuf
New Friends at the Terryberry Library in Hamilton
 

Comments

Guest - Kim on Tuesday, 08 April 2008 23:50

It's neat to see how the students can come up with really good ideas within 20 minutes... and I'm thinking I should start paying attention to settings, because they tend to be the first details that I forget!
Oh and I like the joke about English teachers... so often, studnets think that Language teachers make no mistakes, but that's not exactly true

It's neat to see how the students can come up with really good ideas within 20 minutes... and I'm thinking I should start paying attention to settings, because they tend to be the first details that I forget! :o Oh and I like the joke about English teachers... so often, studnets think that Language teachers make no mistakes, but that's not exactly true :D
Guest - noah cohen on Thursday, 10 April 2008 22:05

u wrote about shira and charlie twice so could you write about different students 2? (ex= Talia- snobby rich girl's mother, Adam- It would work, it had to work) cant wait for dialogue
been doing my homework!

u wrote about shira and charlie twice so could you write about different students 2? (ex= Talia- snobby rich girl's mother, Adam- It would work, it had to work) cant wait for dialogue been doing my homework!
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