American Studies Home Site Map Gallery of Prints Writing Across the Curriculum Currier & Ives Introduction Currier & Ives Opening

Writing Across the Curriculum | Descriptive Writing | Expository Writing | Persuasive Writing

Writing Across the Curriculum: Narrative Writing

Your description has used words to create a picture. Now invent a scene using that description (or pick a different print or photograph) as the basis for a setting in a story. Create several characters to put in this scene. Use your descriptive passages to locate the characters in a specific place, and then put them in a conflict that arises over a new invention or concept from the era. You will have to do some research to determine what invention to use; think about why someone might be unhappy about the new invention. For example, the idea of time zones arose because of the difficulty of scheduling trains when they travelled through areas using independent time zones (you could cross a county line and the time might be different). Some people resisted the idea of a standard time zone. Why? The answer to that and similar questions could create a lot of tension in a story, which makes for a compelling story. You don't need to write the whole story–just a scene.

Instead of describing something static, as you did in the first exercise, you are now describing something in motion through time and/or space. To set the story in the era of the print you are using as a starting point, you may want to do some additional reading to keep it historically accurate. Use at least two factual details from the information within this site about the type of print you select to work from.

High School Students: Write a short story using one of the photographs within the site as the setting and using details from the website to help you create a historically accurate story. The story should convey the website's theme of seeing the reality behind the surface; one of your characters should buy or own a Currier and Ives print.

 

Writing Across the Curriculum | Descriptive Writing | Expository Writing | Persuasive Writing

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American Studies Home Site Map Gallery of Prints Writing Across the Curriculum Currier & Ives Introduction Currier & Ives Opening

Site created by Marcy McDonald, American Studies, UVA. Last modified: July 30, 2005. E-mail: asgrp@virginia.edu

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University of Virginia, www.virginia.edu