ERIC Number: ED228645
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Playing Games in the Writing Class: How Exercises Work.
Writing exercises are games that can lead to success in the classroom because they are artificial and have arbitrary rules defined by the instructor. By giving students a starting point, a limited task, and the assurance that the writing is, after all, "just a game," exercises can circumvent students' initial anxieties about self-presentation and allow new material to arise inadvertently in the process of completing an assignment. Exercises that involve the recasting of previously written material--changing a personal piece into a dramatic monologue, altering verb tense, rearranging the order of stanzas or sentences--are particularly useful in developing concentration as one specific part of the writing process. Through memorization, students can begin to discover the complex links of sound, imagery, and rhetoric that hold a poem togther. Through the rules of the game of imitation, the students can examine and make use of techniques they would not have been able to use on their own. Furthermore, students completing an exercise can take certain imaginative risks within the boundaries of the task that they would never have considered in their own work. Repetition is another technique for stimulating students' imaginations by pushing "too far." Used correctly, writing exercises not only can help students get started, write imaginatively, and learn the techniques and problems of the craft of writing, but they also can lead to fundamental changes in students' work and their way of approaching writing. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association (97th, Los Angeles, CA, November 27-30, 1982).