The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

A Writing Lesson---Yearbook Entry

This is a fantastic lesson to do with college, high school or even middle school students.  (Since middle-schoolers are so enthralled with themselves and so self-centered, they would probably get a huge kick from doing it.)

The idea is to write about yourself via short spurts (sentence fragments), in the way others might write about you in the yearbook.  It sometimes ends up funny, quirky, or barbed (or a combination).  I did this writing activity when I was participating in a teacher exchange at the Third Coast Writing Project (Kalamazoo, Michigan).  A writer (I think her name was Diane Suess) modeled several ideas that day---all were unique and got our pencils and pens moving.

Painting a picture of a character in a succinct way...Whittling away the unneccessary words....Creating a well-rounded description...How sentence fragments impact readers...These are all things that can be discussed and examined during this activity.

Below is an example of a yearbook entry.  Feel free to use it in your classroom (if you're pressed for time and don't have the opportunity to write your own to use as a model).

Yearbook Entry: 1977

       Wears no makeup.  None.  Never wears a dress.  Lives in overalls.  Likes to kiss up to the teachers.  Has her nose in a book all the time.  Isn't worried when her glasses are at the end of her nose.  Has the messiest locker around.  Can't shoot a basket.  Can't run.  Can't hit the side of a barn with a baseball.  Wears the ugliest shoes known to man.  Never goes to parties.  Hangs around with that juggler.  Lives with that French girl.  Has weirdos for friends.  Doesn't smile much.  Is a klutz--can't walk onto the bus without falling on her face.  Will never even get close to being cool...