Writing a short story in English class-is it fluff? You might be surprised who says no.

The State of Massachusetts!

The English Language Proficiency and Outcomes Benchmarks in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks state:

[The student] Writes a story or script with theme and details. (W.2.17a)

The main point here is not about creative writing, it's about becoming familiar with the learning standards in your state. This way you can put language to your teaching methods and defend them, if need be, to administrators who don't get what it is you are trying to do. Too often the arts are looked on as fluff, whether they are taught as an art class or as an integrated learning experience. So, we not only have to keep adding to our creativity as educators and learners, but we need to be able to express how what we are doing as arts-based educators is backed up by our state standards. Massachusetts has standards that relate to dance, visual arts, theater, poetry and more. Check them out and put language to what you are doing in class.


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