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Seminar Details and Order of Presentation

Hey Gang,

Starting today you will have 2 to 3 classes to prepare for your novel presentation. Computers will be made available to you during the period. I will also be here for any help/feedback you need.

Today I talked with you guys about the specifics of the presentation and made sure you know where to focus the bulk of your time. After that I took volunteers for anyone who wants to present early (i.e. NEXT THURSDAY)

Look below for the presentation details:

The Seminar

Once you’ve read your book and considered your generation, you’ll be ready for the seminar presentation. In the approximately 10 minutes you need to deliver the following three things:

  1. Basic information about your novel – characters, a sense of the plot, writing style, quality, information about the author – so your audience has context for your greater argument. This should be the easiest part of your presentation. This should also be the shortest part of your presentation. A couple of minutes should be plenty. (2 to 3 min)
  2. An explanation of what you believe is a defining characteristic of your generation. Make sure you explain your reasoning, not simply make a statement and assume the class will accept it as fact. If you’re presentation is built around the idea that connective technology has made people more empathetic or that your generation has abandoned religion, you need explain why. This will be more difficult as it requires some abstract thought. (2 to 3 min)PLEASE NOTE, POINTS 1 and 2 do not have to be in this order. Pick what works best.


  3. An exploration of how your novel succeeds or fails to examine the above mentioned characteristics of your generation. Just like your essays, assignments and everything else I’ve given you this year, the thing I value most is SPECIFIC EXAMPLES from the text the supports your idea. Vagaries tell me nothing.  This is the most difficult part of your presentation and will take up the bulk of your time. (5 min)

I do not want to this to simply be a talking head presentation. I want you to use some kind of added media component. What you do is up to you. I think the fewer restrictions, the better. You might consider:

  • Video Clips
  • Music
  • Power Point or Prezi
  • A Handout
  • Some form of live performance
  • Anything else you can think of

While your choice of media may vary, the means of evaluation stay the same: Does it heighten/strengthen audience understanding? Just remember that in any kind a presentation, media enhancements are there to help others, not you. That’s my way of reminding you not to create a bunch of slides just so you can read off them or use video clips to kill time. Media is there to clarity. It reinforces your ideas. It does not replace them. 

Seminar Specifics:

  • Length: Approximately 10 minutes
  • Media: Use media in a fun/creative way to engage your audience.
  • Evaluation: You will be evaluated on the clarity and logic of your information, the practiced nature of your presentation and the natural integration of media.
  • Presentations Start: May 15th / 16th

Presentation Order

Hey Gang,

Time’s up. I want a hard copy of all assignment handed-in next Tuesday. I can’t wait to start reading them. The last thing you gotta do is present your big bit of writing business. Here’s the order of presentation, as selected by the ransom seating-plan generator in my Markbook ™ program.

That’s the order. The plan is that if you’re one of the five next people on the list, you should be ready to go for the following class.

Writer’s Craft Summative

Here’s a link to the summative:

Writer’s Craft Summative 2018 Final

Also, I cut and pasted here for easy access:

Writer’s Craft Summative Assignment

Major Writing Piece

Teacher: Mr. Patterson
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 
Ernest Hemingway


Welcome to what will be – for most of you – your last 5 months as a high school student. While this is most certainly a bittersweet time full of reflection, speculation, apprehension and joy, I see it as my final opportunity to cram a bunch of work down your collective throats that you don’t want to do in the vague hope that a modicum of what I teach you before you leave takes hold somewhere in the recesses of your brains and will be of some use to you in the years to come.

With that in mind, I present you with the Writer’s Craft Summative. The focus of this summative is to follow your particular interests (wherever they may lead) and produce a substantive writing piece. Near the end of the year, you will hand in your writing piece and present a seminar on both your process and the final product. While this may seem rather ambitious (it is), a touch vague (it also is) and overwhelming (it isn’t), I have high hopes that you will enjoy yourself, produce work to be proud of and learn a thing or two or three or four.

This summative will be worth 30% of your final grade.

PART 1: The Major Piece


“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.”

                                                                                                                                         – Stephen Wright


Why do it?


One of my many hopes for this course is that by the end of it you get to experience what it really feels like to be a writer. While you’ve already touched on that feeling through your character pieces, shorts stories, prompts and other in-class writing activities, you’ll never really know the true writer’s experience until you have to produce something a) of significant length that b) you really care about. You don’t simply become a writer by putting words to paper…well, technically I guess you do but you’ll never be a real writer until you experience all the frustration, confusion, self-loathing, doubt, pain, pride, more self-loathing and sheer exhaustion that comes with it.


Sound like fun? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Well, too bad. You have to do it anyway so suck it up, Sunshine.





What should I do?


This is going to be the first difficult part of this assignment: making a choice. Below you’ll see a few exciting options of writing challenges to undertake. Examine the list closely and see which ones catch your eye:


  • A screenplay
  • A novel
  • A television script for either a pre-existing show or a pilot for a show of your own design.
  • A play (one-act or longer)
  • A musical
  • A biography
  • A technical manual
  • A collection of shorter works such as:
    • Poems
    • Short Stories
    • Comedy sketches
    • Editorials
    • Journalism pieces
    • Reviews
    • Original Songs
    • Parody articles


You may not see anything on this list that interests you. If this is the case, you’re more than welcome to come up with your own idea. I’m willing to listen to whatever project you’d like to pitch.


Are all choices created equal?


One selection technique common to many students is to pick the option that seems like the least amount of work. I would NOT recommend going this way. Every year some student says they’ll do poetry because they think they can write any old gibberish and then pass it off as ‘thinking outside the box’. Trust me when I tell you there will be safeguards to a) prevent this and b) make sure everyone is doing roughly the same amount of work. Obviously, there’s no way of doing this perfectly, but I always strive towards equality as much as possible. As a teacher, I have an overdeveloped sense of fairness.


To give me a clear understanding of your choice, the work you’re planning to put in and the final product you have in mind, you’ll be writing a SUMMATIVE PROPOSAL that explains what you plan to write over the next 4 months.



The Proposal


Once you’ve picked what you’re planning to write, you need to make a preliminary case for me, explaining what makes this a major writing piece. Here’s what I’d like to know:


  • What are you writing? Provide some specific ideas you have kicking around.
  • Why drew you to this idea?
  • Do you plan to write the entire thing (a full play) or a portion of it (the first 40 pages of a novel)?
  • What prewriting/research will you need to do?
  • What experience and/or knowledge do you have in this form of writing?
  • What difficulties do you predict you will experience? Are you looking forward to any of this?



  • Length: Approximately 300 words
  • Format: Typed (No Comic Sans)
  • Due Date: February 1st


Once I get your proposal sheets, we’ll have a one-on-one meeting to discuss what you’ve written. I might suggest a few changes if I feel your proposal is not ambitious enough, unfocussed or I think you’re biting off more than you can chew. Don’t worry, more often these meetings end with a ‘good idea’ and ‘good luck’.




Work Periods and Check-Ins


“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” 

-Douglas Adams
Between the proposal and handing in your work, we’ll have 3 periods in a computer lab to beaver away while Mr. Patterson does one on one check-ins. I’ll be looking for things like evidence of research and how much you’ve progressed since the last check-in. Come prepared with all your work. These check-ins will be evaluated.







  • Important dates:
    • Period C
      • Feb 5th – Meeting 1
      • March 7th – Meeting 2 *Evidence of research and initial work
      • April 9th – Meeting 3 *Progress of work
      • May 8th and 10h *Work in final revision stage
      • May 14th Copy of Major Work handed in

PART 2: The Seminar


“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” 

– Mark Twain

Once you’ve completed your piece, you’ll be ready for the seminar presentation. In approximately 10 to 15 minutes you need to tell us the following:

  • Basic information about your writing piece, including sharing a small portion of it
  • Why you chose to do this as your piece
  • An understanding of your creative process
  • An explanation of the challenges/pleasures involved
  • What you’ve learned about writing, this genre or yourself after going through this process
  • An honest self-evaluation of your piece. What are you happiest about? What did you feel you never got right?


You are welcome to do anything you like to make your seminar more interesting. This can include:

  • Video Clips
    •           Photos
    •           Power Point or Prezi
    •           Handouts
    •           Special ways of presenting your material (ex. Actors performing dialogue)
    •           Anything else you can think of

    Please note you will be marked on how well your presentation engages the class, not for technical wizardry (RUBRIC TO FOLLOW). It is possible to do very well simply by giving an oral account of all the points above. However, for many who are less comfortable in front of a crowd, using any of the above ideas might be helpful in taking some of the pressure off.



  • Length: Approximately 10 to 15 Minutes
  • Use of Media not mandatory
  • Evaluation: You will be evaluated on the clarity and detail of your information, the practiced nature of your presentation and the natural integration of media. Make sure you (at the very least) cover the topics listed above
  • Presentations begin : May 16th


Proposal   …………………………………..   /10


Major Work   ………………………………   /70


Seminar   …………………………………..      /30


Check-ins and Deadlines ………………     /10


TOTAL …………………………………….       /120


Final Thoughts


That’s it. Not overly complicated but very ambitious. I would not give this to you if I didn’t think you had it in you. I’m really looking forward to reading these.



  1. Rubrics for both Major Work and Seminar
  2. Exemplar for Seminar
  3. Other choice specific supportive material



‘My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said ‘No, but I want a regular banana

 later, so… yeah.’

-Mitch Hedberg