What’s My Muse? Seeking Inspiration from North Carolina Authors

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • Complete a web quest focused on learning about authors from NC, primarily using the online resources: The NC Literary Map and What’s My Muse? web quest
    • Select and research an author from North Carolina who inspires their own writing.
    • Use online resources to discover information about selected author and the region of the state where the author resides.
    • Compile data in a travel journal format.
    • Compose an article/story/letter in the author’s style.
    • Share journal and composition with classmates.

Teacher Planning

Time required for lesson: This is a full unit of study that will require 4-5 class periods, allowing time for student research, analysis of data, compilation of data and composition of article/letter/story.

Materials/resources: Students will need access to the internet. Journal template and checklist are provided as part of the lesson plan.

Pre-activities

  • set the stage for learning by introducing the web quest What’s My Muse: Seeking Inspiration from NC Authors
  • preview the NC Literary Map
  • model how to search for authors and how to explore relevant links including Cultural Resources and Literary Resources
  • discuss requirements for travel journal and share travel journal checklist
  • review evaluation rubric to ensure students understand rating system for project.

Activities

Introduction:

Convinced you are destined to become the next great author from North Carolina, you have spent the past two years of your life feverishly writing poems, travel articles, and short stories and have even started work on a novel set in this great state. Unfortunately, you suffer a severe case of writers’ block and are forced to take a short break from your writing. You decide to seek inspiration by roaming across the state of NC. It is your quest to discover other great authors from NC, visit interesting cultural sites, and return to work renewed, refreshed and inspired to create your own literary masterpiece

Task 1: Travel Itinerary - Planning Your Trip

At the beginning of your journey you will compose a travel itinerary using resources from the NC Literary Map to determine

  1. which author(s) you wish to learn about
  2. what types of places you wish to visit and
  3. literary journals that may be potential publishers for your writing.
Task 2: Collecting and Compiling Inspiration in Travel Journal

During your sojourn across the state you will compile your findings of inspirational material (notes, illustrations, photos, songs, poems, stories, maps, etc) in a journal with entries that will be shared at the end of your journey.

Your journal of inspiring ideas should have at least 5 elements gleaned from the NC Literary Map including:

  1. the name and important biographical data (birthplace, birthdate, place of residence, date of death, awards, most important work) for an author from NC
  2. a poem or quote written by a NC author (it may be the same or different from the author selected for your first entry)
  3. a list of literary journals published in NC that you could submit your writing to for publication (with a rationale for why this journal fits your writing style)
  4. a photo/video/audio recording of something in NC that inspires your own writing
  5. a photo and web address of your favorite destination in NC

You may also include any other items you find along your journey that spark your imagination and fuel your creative talent.

Task 3: Sharing Your Knowledge

At the end of your journey you will share your journal and final composition entry with 2 other students in the class.

Process:

First:
  • Identify an author from NC using resources from the NC Literary Map
  • Create a sketch biography of your author in your travel journal including at least 4 of the following pieces of information:
    • date of birth, death
    • works written
    • awards received
    • education
    • region of the state where the author lives or region the author writes about
    • genre author typically writes
Second:

Using the link to NC Literary Map Cultural Resources to create a travel itinerary in your journal that will assist you in discovering the area where your selected author lives(d) or wrote about.

Include (with appropriate citations):

  • a photo of the area
  • a museum/site to visit
  • a cultural event to attend (play, concert, dance performance…)
  • any other item of inspiration
Third

Using the link to NC Literary Map Literary Magazines , peruse online literary magazines to:

  • Find a poem or article that inspires you (paste a copy in your journal with appropriate citations)
  • Find a journal suitable for publishing some of your work (poems, short stories, etc.) Record in your travel journal:
    • Title of journal
    • Editor
    • Process for submitting your work
    • A rationale explaining why this journal meets your personal writing style.
Fourth:

After completing your travels across the state:

  • Compile your data in your travel journal (you may use the attached journal format or create your own format)
  • Compose a letter, poem, short essay or article written in the style of the author you selected, using the knowledge gained on your quest
  • Share your journal with 2 other classroom authors.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully completed your quest to gather inspiration by traveling across the state of NC in the footsteps of this state’s great authors. Feeling refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated, you overcome your writer’s block and return to work on the next literary masterpiece by an author from NC.

Assessment

Category 4 3 2 1
Use of Internet (Links Provided) Successfully uses suggested Internet links to find information and navigates within these sites easily without assistance. Usually able to use suggested Internet links to find information and navigates within these sites easily without assistance. Occasionally able to use suggested Internet links to find information and navigates within these sites easily without assistance. Needs assistance or supervision to use suggested Internet links and/or to navigate within these sites.
Web Quests Tasks Completed All areas of the project were addressed and handled with a high degree of sophistication. Project is interesting and completed. The project is only partially completed. The project submitted demonstrates a great deal of thought. (Between 75% and 100% complete) The project is only partially completed. The project submitted demonstrates a moderate level of thought. (Between 50% and 75% complete) The project is incomplete, and/or it is apparent that little effort went into the development of the project, and/or project is less than 50% complete.
Attractiveness Makes excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance the presentation. Makes good use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance to presentation. Makes use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. but occasionally these detract from the presentation content. Use of font, color, graphics, effects etc. but these often distract from the presentation content.
Content Covers topic in-depth with details and examples. Subject knowledge is excellent. Includes essential knowledge about the topic. Subject knowledge appears to be good. Includes essential information about the topic but there are 1-2 factual errors. Content is minimal OR there are several factual errors.
Oral Presentation Interesting, well-rehearsed with smooth delivery that holds audience attention. Relatively interesting, rehearsed with a fairly smooth delivery that usually holds audience attention. Delivery not smooth, but able to hold audience attention most of the time. Delivery not smooth and audience attention lost.
Use of time Used time well during each class period. Focused on getting the project done. Never distracted others. Used time well during each class period. Usually focused on getting the project done and never distracted others Used some of the time well during each class period. There was some focus on getting the project done but occasionally distracted others Did not use class time to focus on the project OR often distracted others.

Supplemental Information

North Carolina Common Core/Essential Standards

Information and Technology Essential Standards

HS.TT1.1 Use technology and other resources for assigned tasks.

HS.SI.1 Evaluate resources needed to solve a given problem.

MS.SI.1 Evaluate information resources based on specified criteria.

MS.RP.1 Apply a research process for collaborative or individual research.

Writing: Anchor Standards

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

High School English Language Arts

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Middle School: English Language Arts: Social Studies

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.