It’s that time of year when we get to tap into the high-interest season of Halloween and use it to our advantage as writing teachers! Halloween means Edgar Allan Poe, Gothic stories, mysteries, and all things secondary students LOVE!
There is a reason why crime stories dominate tv and film. People love them! They are equal parts mysterious, suspenseful, horrifying, gruesome, and terrifying. These are the exact traits that draw us in as viewers, and these are the exact same reasons why crime stories are an excellent way to engage secondary students.
Mentor sentences are an excellent tool to use in the secondary ELA classroom to model essential skills from grammar to literary devices. They reinforce quality writing skills from published in authors in a positive way rather than the traditional sentence correction method that modeled negative traits.
In screenwriting (writing for movies and TV), the logline is key to brainstorming story ideas and also selling them or "pitching" them to buyers. Crafting loglines can help the writer to flesh out new plot ideas before writing the entire script. It's much easier to revise the logline rather than an entire hundred page script!