Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Writing Your Life Story; the Original Course Outline

Writing Your Memoirs: We all have an Interesting life story to tell! Overview: In this course we will explore the genre of memoir. We will review the works of writers who have written about ordinary events in their lives which have inspired them in order to see that our own lives contain many meaningful experiences that will serve as inspiration for our own writing. Students will sample three varied techniques that will show them how to take their life experiences to create a memoir to record their events. Students will receive a packet of materials, samples, and other resources to help them continue with their project once they complete this class. Students will discuss classifying and organizing events and collecting artifacts and photos that will help them in their project. They will also be encouraged to discuss and reflect on the significance of remembered events and to keep a notebook of their thoughts and feelings. The instructor will share examples of memoir that she has taught and created in order in inspire the class. By the end of the session, students will have drafted an introduction and set of notes or outline to help them begin their Memoirs. Topics covered include: 1. Defining a Memoir, compare and contrast with biography and autobiography 2. What is an epiphany? What is a significant event to you and why? 3. Using treasured objects as catalysts 4. Writing around a photo, or using illustration 5. Using favorite recipes or patterns to tell stories 6. Organizing events around: a. Stages of life: infancy/childhood; adolescence/adulthood/family life/professional life b. Major life events c. Holidays and family/friend gatherings d. Emblematic moments e. Audience Objectives/Outcomes: The student will demonstrate: 1. Oral and written language skills to create, clarify, and extend their personal understanding of what they experience through their senses through introspection and interaction with others. 2. Practice and apply basic investigative techniques to generating material for memoir , including the use of questions Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? 3. ability and confidence to use oral and written language to the needs of their audience 4. Interest in writing and reading as a means to understanding themselves 5. creation of Memoir to record and preserve emblematic moments in their lives 6. Knowledge to help them complete their project and continue their interest through possibly joining a writers group that specializes in Memoir writing. Materials and techniques instructor will share with students include: Books, excerpts poetry, essays include: Marcel Proust, Remembrance of things Past Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory Barbara Pym, A Very Private Eye Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook Gunda Davis, Pumpkin Soup and Shrapnel Personal Memoir and Journals belonging to the author Works by Laura Ingalls Wilder The Journals of Sylvia Plath The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Works by Maya Angelou Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors Works by Tasha Tudor Barbara Cooney, Hattie and the Wild Waves Jean Little Little by Little Robert Kimmel Smith The War with Grandpa Works by Ray Bradbury Works by Charlotte Bronte Crescent Dragonwagon, Home Place N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain The Diary of Anne Frank Patricia MacLachlan, Sarah, Plain and Tall Students will also receive a bibliography of these and other works helpful to their interest in Memoir. Above works will be prepared and excerpted, where necessary, by the Instructor.

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