Memoir

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Memoir portion of the Personal Writing Unit.

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Memoir

  1. 1. Memoir
  2. 2. Writer’s Notebook ““ Best Place”Best Place” My favorite/mostMy favorite/most important place in theimportant place in the entire world is…entire world is… 10/14/10 Content: Memoir NEW POLICY: To help you focus,NEW POLICY: To help you focus, the prompt will disappear 3 minutesthe prompt will disappear 3 minutes after the bell rings.after the bell rings.
  3. 3. Memoir
  4. 4. MemoirMemoir  Essential Focus: aEssential Focus: a significantsignificant relationshipsrelationships with a person, place, or thingwith a person, place, or thing  KEY ELEMENTS:KEY ELEMENTS:  RELATIONSHIPRELATIONSHIP  SIGNIFICANTSIGNIFICANT  Show the readerShow the reader howhow the p/p/t had an impact onthe p/p/t had an impact on your life.your life.  Multiple experiences (occurs over time)Multiple experiences (occurs over time) Notes
  5. 5. Yesterday’s MemoirsYesterday’s Memoirs  Yesterday, you readYesterday, you read  ““Fraidy Cat”Fraidy Cat”  ““Grandmama Edwina”Grandmama Edwina”  ““Wrestling In A Cage”Wrestling In A Cage”  Each was a memoirEach was a memoir Not Notes
  6. 6. ““Fraidy Cat”Fraidy Cat” • The one about the guy who gets a cat; is not a cat person; the cat has stillborn kittens, bonds with the guy, then dies; “don’t know what you have until it’s gone” • MEMOIR: focused on the significant relationship between the writer and the cat • He liked the cat = IRRELEVANT • He learned something specific from the relationship = significance
  7. 7. ““Fraidy Cat”Fraidy Cat” What WorksWhat Works • Specific significanceSpecific significance – all experiences support significanceall experiences support significance • Dislike to like the catDislike to like the cat • Bonding over aftermath of stillbornsBonding over aftermath of stillborns • ““fool cat”fool cat” • Stayed with herStayed with her • Pulled over -> showed revelation in the momentPulled over -> showed revelation in the moment – SHOWSHOW • Doesn’t “tell” us about key experiencesDoesn’t “tell” us about key experiences • SHOWS us key experiencesSHOWS us key experiences
  8. 8. Writer’s Notebook ““Toy Talk”Toy Talk” Today, my favoriteToday, my favorite childhood toy walkedchildhood toy walked up to me and said...up to me and said... 10/15/10 Content: Memoir NEW POLICY: To help you focus,NEW POLICY: To help you focus, the prompt will disappear 3 minutesthe prompt will disappear 3 minutes after the bell rings.after the bell rings.
  9. 9. Today • Students will identify qualities of “good writing” in sample memoirs. • Students will begin prewriting for Memoirs.
  10. 10. ““Fraidy Cat”Fraidy Cat” What WorksWhat Works • Specific significanceSpecific significance – all experiences support significanceall experiences support significance • Dislike to like the catDislike to like the cat – Not a cat personNot a cat person – Bonding over aftermath of stillbornsBonding over aftermath of stillborns – ““fool cat”fool cat” – Stayed with herStayed with her – Pulled over -> showed revelation in the momentPulled over -> showed revelation in the moment – SHOWSHOW • Doesn’t “tell” us about key experiencesDoesn’t “tell” us about key experiences • SHOWS us key experiencesSHOWS us key experiences
  11. 11. Grandmama Edwina “What Works” • Precise Details – Focus on eccentricity – Specific details illustrate personality • “wears straw hats and white gloves, always has a basket of peaches in the summer time, calls the mayor “tubby” to his face, careens down the highway faster than her age, and gave up golf after she accidentally killed a duck with a long drive over a short water hazard. Structure: Starts out pretty normal, then gets crazy.
  12. 12. Grandmama Edwina “What Works” • Precise Details (cont.) – Tells you exactly what the writer is talking about • “Miserable cook” • Proof  normal = fresh vegetables, cured hams, homemade jellies {mmm} • Grandmama Edwina’s fridge = pimiento cheese, instant tea, readymade waffles, 6-ounce Cokes, ketchup, freezer-burnt ice cream sandwiches, and bacon {bleh} {also, nothing to “cook”}
  13. 13. Grandmama Edwina “What Works” • Interesting phrasing – “the fried-chicken dish of the culinary impaired” – “hide the tell-tale grease-soaked buckets” – “long drive over a short water hazard” – “for reasons unknown to the rational world” – “the woman behind the curtain” – “Mildred knows grandmother can’t cook. We know grandmother can’t cook. Grandmother knows she can’t cook. It is a conspiracy that polite family members do not make light of in major magazines.”
  14. 14. Grandmama Edwina “What Works” • FOCUS – It’s all about Edwina being a horrid cook 1. Intro = all southern g’mas cook, but some different 2. How Edwina is different  her eccentricities keep people from paying attention to her cooking 3. Proof that Edwina is not a good cook 4. Explanation of how she gets away with it 5. Example of Edwina “cooking” 6. How the family handles the issue 7. Make it current. Edwina is trying 8. There’s hope 9. Fun clincher with call-back
  15. 15. Karma at the Panda What Works • CONTRAST – How she is at Pandamonium vs. how she is outside of Pandamonium • “The acceptance that eluded me at home and at school I took for granted at the Panda. The real me came out there.” • “I could boogie and bop. I could step out of the self-contained shell that was the only way my parents and [...] people at school knew me” • “In my non-Panda life I was a pacifist, a peacemaker [wrestling “match”] No one but my Panda crew celebrates that crazy, impulsive side of me.” • “when I got into trouble, my Panda-mates were there for me. [fight, support]... My mom doesn’t even offer me a Band-Aid any more. And when I lose my keys, I’m on my own. But my family at the Panda made up for that. They kissed my boo- boos and watched out for me.”
  16. 16. Memoir Prewriting • We need to begin generating ideas • Complete the front page of the prewriting sheet • REMEMBER THE MEMOIR RULE: – NO BOYFRIENDS/GIRLFRIENDS
  17. 17. Writer’s NotebookWriter’s Notebook ““WW_D”WW_D” A few years ago, there was a religious trendA few years ago, there was a religious trend focused on asking oneself “WWJD?” orfocused on asking oneself “WWJD?” or “What Would Jesus Do?”“What Would Jesus Do?” Create your own WW_D? using someoneCreate your own WW_D? using someone from your life to fill in the blank. No, youfrom your life to fill in the blank. No, you cannot use Jesus. No, this is notcannot use Jesus. No, this is not blasphemous (trust me, I asked a priest.)blasphemous (trust me, I asked a priest.) 10/18/10 Content: Memoir NEW POLICY: To help you focus, theNEW POLICY: To help you focus, the prompt will disappear 3 minutes after theprompt will disappear 3 minutes after the
  18. 18. Today • Students will analyze the use of precise details to support the writer’s message in sample memoirs. • Students will begin prewriting for Memoirs.
  19. 19. • In a memoir, it is essential that the readerIn a memoir, it is essential that the reader knows who your subject isknows who your subject is • YOU mustYOU must showshow the readerthe reader character traitscharacter traits ofof the p/p/tthe p/p/t • These traits must help the audienceThese traits must help the audience understand who/what the p/p/t is, especiallyunderstand who/what the p/p/t is, especially as relates to your purposeas relates to your purpose
  20. 20. • Read the sample memoir • Complete the Subject Chart
  21. 21. • In yourIn your WRITER’S NOTEBOOKWRITER’S NOTEBOOK • Complete a Subject Chart forComplete a Subject Chart for two (2)two (2) potential subjects for your memoirpotential subjects for your memoir • Title = Memoir Subject ChartsTitle = Memoir Subject Charts • Content = MemoirContent = Memoir
  22. 22. Writer’s NotebookWriter’s Notebook ““Monster Under My Bed”Monster Under My Bed” When I finally met theWhen I finally met the monster under my bed...monster under my bed... 10/19/10 Content: Memoir NEW POLICY: To help you focus, theNEW POLICY: To help you focus, the prompt will disappear 3 minutes after theprompt will disappear 3 minutes after the bell rings.
  23. 23. Today • Students will analyze the use of structure to support/enhance meaning in a memoir. • Students will continue prewriting for their Memoirs.
  24. 24. • Finish Prewriting Sheet Step 2
  25. 25. MemoirStructure • Extended Metaphor starts with an analogy, a comparison between two things (usually very unlike) and carries that comparison through the piece—e.g., “my mom is my guardian angel…” The comparison usually identifies one thing as another (though comparative language like “like” may be used). Often the corresponding points are outlined in the lead (“…she knows everything without me telling her, she offers good counsel, and she puts herself between me and harm…”). • Central Image paints a picture that comes up again and again (an empty swing swaying as if recently vacated that the writer returns to after stories –which all mention the swings– about the playground, the writer’s old haunt).
  26. 26. Structure • Chronology follows a sequence determined by order in which things happened. When this is the only method of organization, it is sometimes a good idea to pull one event— an important event, or the end of the “story”—out of the sequence and put it up front. Transitional phrases like “Another time…” “Second…” “Finally…” often help the reader follow the writer’s time line. • Contrast sets descriptions of two places, people, etc., side by side highlighting differences (the treatment of Karma at Pandamonium versus the treatment of C--- by her mother). If the contrast is systematic (i.e. is an organizational pattern followed throughout the piece), it is a good idea to keep the pattern the same—e.g., in every paragraph the writer describes Karma’s treatment at Pandamonium first and the n
  27. 27. Structure • Framing Event leads with an important story that seems to “sum up” the essence of person/place/object. Body of memoir gives further examples of that same quality or essence and may make occasional explicit references to framing event. Conclusion circles back to the framing event. • Repetition repeats a line or phrase again and again at strategic moments in the text (“I should have listened to my mother” repeated after stories that illustrate writer not following
  28. 28. Structure • Third-Party Connection uses something else—another person, an activity, a cause, an animal, etc.—to link writer to the subject of her/his memoir (i.e. writer and mother both staunch Republicans). • Photo Album based on evidence presented in vignettes, what aspect of her/his relationship with the person/place/object the writer is trying to highlight. It is critical in such an approach to use “frozen moments” that clearly illustrate the writer’s angle (the father’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his daughter should be clear in the selected vignettes).
  29. 29. • Finish Prewriting Sheet Step 3
  30. 30. Writer’s NotebookWriter’s Notebook ““FREE”FREE” Write 10/20/10 Content: Freebie NEW POLICY: To help you focus, theNEW POLICY: To help you focus, the prompt will disappear 3 minutes after theprompt will disappear 3 minutes after the bell rings.
  31. 31. MemoirStructure Strategies • Use these strategies to create cohesion in your memoir • Extended Metaphor • Central Image • Chronology • Contrast • Framing Event • Repetition • Third-Party Connection
  32. 32. In yourCLASS NOTES • Create this chart Title Structure Choice How the choice is effective
  33. 33. Structure Choices Analysis • In pairs • Read the supplied texts • (If any of themare texts we’ve already read, you can skim them) • Identify the Structure Choices the writermade • Analyze the effectiveness of the choice • Record yourfindings on the Structure Strategies chart
  34. 34. Basic Structure - Memoir • Introduction • Attention Grabber • Context (the theme/significance/subject in general terms • Thesis • First Experience • Highlight the connection to the significance • Can be: • First glimpse of significance • One aspect of significance • Beginning of relationship (if connected to personal growth/change) • Second Experience • Highlight the connection to the significance • Can be: • Second glimpse of significance • Second aspect of significance • Change in relationship (if connected to personal growth/change) • Third Experience • Highlight the connection to the significance • Can be: • Final glimpse of significance • Third aspect of significance • End/current state of relationship (if connected to personal growth/change) • Conclusion
  35. 35. MemoirRubric
  36. 36. Writer’s NotebookWriter’s Notebook ““What Happened”What Happened” You see, what happened was… 10/21/10 Content: Fun NEW POLICY: To help you focus, theNEW POLICY: To help you focus, the prompt will disappear 3 minutes after theprompt will disappear 3 minutes after the bell rings.
  37. 37. Details, Details, Details Memoirs use brief versions of events Less time to develop the story Need to use precise details – The most important/relevant – More bang for your buck
  38. 38. Basic Structure - Memoir • Introduction • Attention Grabber • Context (the theme/significance/subject in general terms • Thesis • First Experience • Highlight the connection to the significance • Can be: • First glimpse of significance • One aspect of significance • Beginning of relationship (if connected to personal growth/change) • Second Experience • Highlight the connection to the significance • Can be: • Second glimpse of significance • Second aspect of significance • Change in relationship (if connected to personal growth/change) • Third Experience • Highlight the connection to the significance • Can be: • Final glimpse of significance • Third aspect of significance • End/current state of relationship (if connected to personal growth/change) • Conclusion

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