Adventures in Fantasy
Lessons and Activities in Narrative and Descriptive Writing, Grades 5-9
By John Gust
(Jossey-Bass, Paperback, 9780787992903, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 2007
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Adventures in Fantasy offers an exciting approach to teaching narrative and descriptive writing that stimulates a student’s creativity and imagination. Filled with mini-lessons, reading projects, and hands-on writing activities, the book shows teachers step-by-step how to introduce students to the “magic” of creating a complete story in the fantasy/adventure genre.
Before fleshing out their stories, however, students are asked to construct actual maps of their ‘fantasyland’ – and then to write a travelogue describing the setting in vivid detail. This initial fantasizing encourages students to be wildly inventive in creating the drama, ogres, villains, heroes and heroines featured in their story, and on the way they learn about the mythic journey.
John Gust teaches fifth grade at a magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and serves as adjunct lecturer/teacher trainer at various local universities. He has published numerous books on topics ranging from self-esteem enhancement, to character development, to systems thinking, to communication skills and multicultural education. Gust's first attempt at storytelling was a personal narrative titled Round Peg, Square Hole: A Teacher Lives and Learns in Watts. Currently, Gust is writing a fantasy trilogy for young adults. For more information about John Gust, his writing workshops, and his other books, please visit www.johngust.org.