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Nearly everyone who reads has had the experience of being transported to another world – of becoming so engrossed in a narrative that he or she becomes almost unconscious of the act of reading. In these cases, the prose an author constructs becomes so vivid as to replace, in a small way, reality in a reader's mind for a time. The evocation of rich images is a hallmark of well-crafted fiction. This unit is a workshop that helps students learn to evoke vivid and continuous images in the fiction they write. The unit involves a heavy amount of writing and should be administered to advanced level juniors and seniors, though it can be modified to great effect for lower ability levels. As for the classroom texts required, it is up to the individual teacher as to which texts he or she might use; that said, using John Gardner's The Art of Fiction in the beginning of the unit is helpful in clarifying its underlying concepts. The unit is four to six weeks in length and uses the PROPEL methodology developed by Project Zero at Harvard.
(Recommended for English and Creative Writing, grades 11 and 12)