Class Topic // “Images of Literature”
Class schedule // 60 minutes, Saturdays and Sundays, May – August 2020
Assignments // weekly short essay responses, 3-page analytical essay
JASMINE’S GOALS : When I started working with 14-year-old Jasmine, I learned she was a wildly talented artist. But Jasmine felt intimidated by the idea of analytical writing.
Jasmine knew she needed stronger writing skills to succeed in upper-level English classes — and to thrive in a career in media and communications. She wanted the confidence of a richer vocabulary, and she especially wanted to get rid of “that lump in my stomach when I think about writing essays for AP Lit next year.”
CURRICULUM : Instead of plunging headfirst into a novel, Jasmine and I started our class with contemporary short stories by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. We practiced analyzing theme, character, motif, and symbol in 1-page essay responses, strongly focused on the visual elements of the story.
With greater confidence, Jasmine was suddenly eager to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. As we read and discussed this classic American novel, I designed writing assignments that drew on her artistic talents. Fahrenheit 451 has inspired artists for decades. To conclude her journey, Jasmine loved writing a 3-page analytical essay on how artists such as Ralph Steadman interpreted the novel’s themes.
JASMINE’S SUCCESS : Now in 11th grade, Jasmine is writing essays on classic novels like Catcher in the Rye and contemporary works like The Kite Runner. She analyzes words on the page as confidently as she analyzes brushstrokes and color on canvas — and she’s getting As in all her humanities classes!
I’m incredibly proud of Jasmine’s new confidence and skills. She’s now a fearless artist and writer.
By the way, here’s just some of Jasmine’s amazing artwork!