Humanities Circle: Middle School

The Middle School Humanities Circle Fall 2017 course will focus on Narrative Fiction.

Fall Quarter 2017 Course Information

Introduction to Narrative Fiction

In this course, students will learn about the basic elements of fiction, including character, setting, and plot. Through writing exercises and readings, students will be exposed to a wide variety of narrative approaches, practice analytical and critical thinking skills, develop a language for talking about how narrative works, and acquire the necessary tools for creating their own stories. Students will have the opportunity to read and respond to each other's work by engaging in a mini-workshop. The course will culminate with a reading, where students will be able to present their creative work to their peers and parents.             

  • Sessions 1-3 explore character, protagonists, unreliable narrators, antagonists, point of view, dialogue, and tone.

  • Sessions 4-6 explore setting, imagery, and concrete details, examining what happens when characters are placed in specific environments such as cities, suburbia, nature, and dystopias.

  • Sessions 7-8 explore plot, relevant aspects of Aristotle's Poetics, the Freitag triangle, linear narratives and modular narratives.

  • In Session 9, students will come to class with short fiction of their own in order to engage in a mini-workshop experience. Students will be encouraged to incorporate feedback and revise their work in order to prepare for the final reading.

  • In Session 10, students will have the opportunity to invite their parents to come to class for our end-of-the-quarter reading.    

About the Instructor

Jenn Alandy Trahan (MFA, McNeese State University) is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction. Her fiction deals with intersections of trauma, race, identity, and class. She is working on a novel tentatively titled They Told Us Not to Say This.