Creative Writing and Imagery

Write stories in a variety of genres and add images to enhance them.

Overview

  • Essential Question: How can visuals complement and add depth and value to a variety of storytelling methods?
  • Area of study: English (could be altered slightly for an art credit or bulked up to earn credit in both)
  • Type and amount of credit earned: 1/2 credit
  • Community partner: Photographer at news media group

Competencies

  • Complementing words with images – add depth to a piece of creative writing.
  • Understanding creative genres – recognize and analyze multiple genres.
  • Planning and developing creative writing – demonstrate the writing process in multiple different types of creative writing and include student-produced images.
  • Synthesizing writing and visuals – develop a multi-genre project.

See the ELO details for the full text of these competencies.

Student activities

  1. Analyze a variety of creative writing styles/genres, and discuss ways (and/or reflect on, if there is only one student doing the ELO) that visuals could enhance the pieces of writing.
  2. Work with English teacher to learn about and practice at least eight different genres of creative writing. Practice each type of writing, and collaborate to plan for what visuals to add, and how and where to add them.
  3. Collaborate with photographer community partner to develop a photograph hunt plan for some of the formative writing assignments. This is ongoing as you learn about different genres and make plans for images that will accompany each of your summative writing pieces.
  4. Much of this ELO focuses on taking photos that complement your writing. For at least one of the smaller summatives, choose 2-3 favorite photos, and use them to inspire your writing. You can choose which genre(s) to use to tell the story of your favorite photos.
  5. Collaborate with your community partner photographer to analyze some of their work and discuss how they chose the photos to help tell certain stories. Read a variety of photo essays and choose one on which to do a deep dive analysis.
  6. Visit the photography section of one or more local art displays/museums (this student went to UNH) and take notes on your favorite photos. Use those photos to inspire a piece of writing in one of the genres you have studied.
  7. Plan photographs for, and write a children’s story which focuses on a holiday that you and your family celebrate.

Assessment

Formative assessments: Since the primary focus of this course was an English credit, there were multiple formative assessments around the student’s understanding of different creative writing genres, as well as smaller formative assessments such as creating a vocabulary list for two of the topics the student chose to create creative writing pieces about, and a planning guide for his final project.

Summative assessments: Each unit (poetry, short stories, flash fiction, newswriting/photojournalism, songwriting, photo essay, creepypasta, satire, children’s book, and biography/autobiography) had its own summative to assess the student’s ability to produce each type of writing and practice including complementary art/photography. These summative assessments assessed competencies 2 and 3. The final project of creating a themed multi-genre writing assignment with complementary photography was the summative assessment for competencies 1 and 4

More information

This was a unique ELO in that the student was a reluctant writer. I think in other circumstances, you could go into more depth and access a greater number of careers in photography. I think the ELO could be easily tweaked to earn an additional art credit, and could also utilize a variety of artistic styles, especially if you branch out more into comic books and Manga type of writing and art. While it worked well for this student in his specific context, I think it is a very flexible ELO that could be a great asset to students with varied interests in both art and writing.

My original assignment for the final was for the student to create a bound copy of all of his completed work. At the student’s request, however, we audibled and he actually set up an art show which featured one or more of his photographs in 8×10 at each station, with the pieces of writing printed on the table below for viewers to read through.

This ELO was submitted by Terrill Covey, ELO Facilitator, Strafford Learning Center.  Email teacher for more information

May 2024