"You are sophisticated [writers] and can think in terms of the whole abstraction of home and make it lyrical and beautiful. I find that the younger students start getting mushy, that they start getting abstract, you know. And so what I have them do is to define home according to . . . like the first visual memory that they have of home, their favorite piece of furniture in the home, their favorite room, their least favorite room, their most annoying aspect of home, and so make it like a series of assignments. And when they finish, they have constructed home. Sometimes I do it by the senses-how does home sound? How does it smell? How does it feel? If you were to go through a room in the dark and make it, you know, that's a way to teach them sensory details, okay? What are your thoughts on this assignment? What are some variations that you would use?"
"To connect this to literature, you could have students pick up one word that they find is used by the author that represents the theme or, as a class, they can generate a list of words and then they can write based on that."
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