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The Baby-Sitters Club Teaches You How to Write Fiction: Flexible Schedule

Janelle Fila
Star Educator
Average rating:4.6Number of reviews:(899)
In this nine-week flexible course, students will learn nine different writing elements to use in their own creative writing with examples from the classic Baby-sitters Club and graphic novels. #creative

Class experience

US Grade 2 - 5
Week One: Place and time are important because they tell us the physical location and year/era the story takes place. The Babysitters Club stories take place in a normal, contemporary world. How might these stories be different if they were set in a different country? What if they took place 50 years in the past or 50 years in the future?       

Week Two: Setting gives us more description and details of the places within the stories. Many of the stories are set in different places, from Claudia's house to the New Jersey shore. Besides being descriptive, setting can help the reader feel as if they are actually with the characters in the scene. That's an important element for a contemporary story that wants to draw the reader in.                                             

Week Three: The protagonist is the main character. Stories generally only have one main character. This character has a specific want or goal that he/she works on trying to achieve throughout the novel. Do the Babysitters Club books focus on one specific main character or do you think there are multiple main characters in each of the books?

Week Four: The antagonist  is the main villain. This is usually the person working against the main character. What are some villains from the Baby-sitters Club stories? Do you consider the children they are babysitting to be the "bad guys" in the story?

Week Five:  Secondary characters are not less important than main characters! In the Baby-sitters Club books, often the hero or main character has a team of friends to help solve the story's main problem. How do these characters add to the story? How would the story be different without these supporting characters? 

Week Six: Showing vs. telling. Similar to the previous week, students will read examples of both showing and telling in the text. They will work together to rewrite telling words and sentences to show the characters' action and emotions more clearly. 

Week Seven: Dialogue. Students will look at some examples of dialogue from the Baby-sitters Club series to examine how dialogue is used to move the plot forward through the story. We will also review proper construction of dialogue sentences, since most students will use quotation marks (not speech bubbles) in their own stories.                                                

Week Eight: Passive voice. Students should write in active voice as  much as possible. They will read examples of both active and passive voice. They will work together to rewrite passive sentences in active voice so that the character completes the action in the sentence.                                                         

Week Nine: Foreshadowing is the art of dropping hints early in a story to warn us about upcoming events later on in the story. Students will examine some examples from the Baby-sitters Club series and discuss how important these hints are to the overall story.        
I have a Master's Degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University. I love talking about all forms of writing! But I am especially excited to talk about the Baby-sitters Club as Dawn, Mary Anne, and the gang were great friends of mine growing up. I am so excited that this series has resurfaced and I'm looking forward to talking about how the graphic novel has impacted new readers. My hope for this class is to foster a safe space for creativity and also to connect students who enjoy reading and writing with other, like-minded students (and possible future babysitters!)
Homework Offered
Students are assigned a weekly writing assignment, a weekly Kahoot quiz, and daily writing tasks and quizzes.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
The more assignments that students post and the more creative writing that they share helps me to understand their knowledge and comprehension of the topics we are discussing.
Grades Offered
Each Sunday, students will have access to a new video and a corresponding one page worksheet that addresses/reminds them of some of the topics discussed (it will also have room for notes and some questions to consider answering). Students should have a familiarity with the The Babysitters Club universe. I will try to limit discussion to early books in the graphic novel series for students who have not completed the series. 
Star Educator
Average rating:4.6Number of reviews:(899)
I currently teach English Composition at the collegiate level. I have a Master's degree in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults, so I teach reading and writing classes. I worked as a substitute teacher for 3 years, in all age ranges and... 
Flex Class


weekly or $45 for 9 weeks
9 weeks

Completed by 4 learners
No live video meetings
Ages: 7-12

This class is no longer offered
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