Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sample Assignments for "Celebrate the Lowcountry through Writing"

Lowcountry teachers in grades K-12 and in college classrooms are invited to submit their students' work to the Lowcountry Writing Project "room" (or local gallery) of the National Gallery of Writing Website. You can download a packet of information from And you can also look below for some sample assignments.

If you are planning to submit student work to the National Gallery of Writing as part of the National Day on Writing celebration, please send Amy Hudock an email at amy.hudock (at)

She will add you to a list of participating teachers here on this blog, and list you and your school in press releases. It's great publicity for your school!

Also, if you have created an assignment for the "Celebrate Charleston in Writing" theme, please send it along to share.

The student work needs to be posted by the end of the month. Amy is willing to help you with the posting part. Let her know!

Celebrate the Lowcountry through Writing

For your creative writing portfolio, you will write one descriptive/narrative piece (fiction or nonfiction) of 250-750 words (1-3 pages) in which you:

• Center on a location in the Lowcountry.
• Tell a fiction or nonfiction story using this setting as an important element.
• Imagine your audience as people who have never been to the Lowcountry, but are thinking of taking a vacation here.
• Use sensory detail and imagery (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell).
• Use the first person (“I”).
• Use the techniques of writing we have been discussing.
• Post this writing (once approved by me) to the National Gallery on Writing by September 20h at I’ll show you how to do this in class.

What can you write about? Here are some possible ideas:

• Go to a sporting event in the Lowcountry. Write about your experience, focusing on what the place means to you.
• Go to a historic landmark in the Lowcountry. Write about your experience, focusing on what the place means to you.
• Write a fictional story with the Lowcountry as a setting.
• Visit a Lowcountry restaurant and write a review, focusing on how the place itself makes or breaks the experience.
• Walk though your favorite place in the Lowcountry, describe it, and tell us what it means to you.
• Interview a Lowcountry public person who is quite a character. Interview him or her in a place special to him or her. Write about this interview, and what makes this person a character, and why this place is important to him or her.
• Describe your Lowcountry family home and the generations who have lived there.
• And there are plenty of other possibilities!


How can you make the Lowcountry a better place? Pick a local issue and then argue for your position in 750 words.

To prepare you to write the formal editorial essay, read the chapters on research and argument in the Prentice Hall Reference Guide. Also, you can view the powerpoint presentation on how to write argument we covered in class at:

This editorial should make a clear thesis statement, present at least three reasons that give reasons why your thesis is true and offer two pieces of evidence to back up each of your reasons, and offer counter arguments.

The editorial should follow this outline (or an approved variation):

I. Introduction
II. Body
a. Reason 1 why thesis is true
b. Reason 2 why thesis is true
c. Reason 3 why thesis is true
d. Counter arguments
III. Conclusion
IV. Works cited page

You will publish this essay on the National Gallery of Writing website at

Change to Date of Marathon

Due to overwhelming workloads early in the school year, we have changed the date of the LWP Writing Marathon from Sept 12 to October 24. The marathon had initially been planned as part of the run-up to the National Day on Writing, but it is now a follow-up activity.

Any teacher who submits student work for the Oct 19th public reading – yes, it’s Oct 19th rather than the 20th – will receive two free tickets to Writing Marathon events. (You can invite a friend to join you for an event, or you can attend two different events.) Others are welcome to attend the events, for $10/event. The list of events will soon be posted on our website (, and you should be able to sign up online (if we get the technology to work!).

If you are a teacher and you haven’t yet submitted any student writing, there’s still time to participate. Get more details at, or contact us at if you have questions.

Tom Thompson