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This Creative Writing project for high school walks students through the process of drafting a first-person short story in the fantasy genre featuring personified dinosaurs who experience conflicts that are relatable to a human audience while incorporating details that hearken back to prehistoric times. An important aspect to this activity is the creation of a distinct voice that is consistent with what is known about whichever species of dinosaur is represented by the protagonist.

Included are detailed, visually pleasing directions; a dinosaur research activity; a comprehensive outline for student planning; peer- and self-editing documents; and a thorough rubric for evaluating final drafts. Materials are delivered in a zip file containing both Word Document and PDF versions. By engaging with these materials, students will do the following:

  • Conduct brief, informal research on any three of the following dinosaurs: Alamosaurus, Megalosaurus, Allosaurus, Diplodocus, Deinonychus, Indosuchus, Saltasaurus, Archaeopteryx, Coelophusis, Protoceratops, Albertosaurus, Carnotaurus, Styracosaurus, Borogovia, Ceratosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Dryptosaurus, Noasaurus, Dilophosaurus, Albertaceratops, Saltopus, Iguanodon, Utahraptor, Sinovenator, Gasosaurus, Nemegtosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Segisaurus, Bambiraptor, Ankylosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Camptosaurus, Microraptor, Suchomimus, Hesperosaurus, and more
  • Apply knowledge of the aforementioned dinosaurs to the process of developing distinct, well-rounded characters
  • Organize initial ideas in a coherent manner
  • Engage the reader with a compelling exposition that establishes a prehistoric setting, characters, and conflicts
  • Use many appropriate narrative techniques (dialogue, dialect, description, pacing, etc.) to enhance a science-fiction plot
  • Draft a coherent, cohesive, and appropriate narrative that builds toward a particular tone and outcome (a sense of mystery, suspense, etc.)
  • Use precise words and phrases, active verbs, and sensory language to convey a compelling story
  • Draft a reasonable and unrushed conclusion that resolves conflicts and conveys a theme
  • Show mastery of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.