Students will have the opportunity to take facts and use their imagination to create a story surrounding one of North Carolina’s lighthouses. The artist will discuss time period, setting, and how to organize a story. Students will work on a setting worksheet and they will work on building strong characters, dialogue, and transitions. There will be discussion around the importance of conflict in a good story, and how it must be resolved. Students also will learn the importance of good dialogue and how it can be used to develop a character and add to a story. Once students write their rough draft, the artist will review editing skills, and students will self edit and peer edit. The writer will edit with the students and assist them. Once editing is done, students will rewrite their stories. By the end of the week students will have developed a good understanding of how history can be creative and have their own lighthouse story to add to their unit.
Diane has enjoyed creating short stories with hundreds of young writers. Combining her love of history and writing, she was written several creative nonfiction books including Side By Side a story about Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, which was a finalist in the 2017 Best Books Awards. She has been a finalist twice in the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition; in 2017, with “Called Home” a Vietnam Era story about two young Marines from Raleigh, NC, and in 2022 with “Not for the Faint of Heart,” a story about a young woman from Tarboro, NC who served with the American Red Cross during the Vietnam War. Diane has also worked as a news director, speech writer, and freelance writer. Diane strives to the take any anxiety out of writing for students using the same organizing process she uses in her own writing. For instance, she unrolls pages of edited work from one of her picture books to emphasize the importance of editing and rewriting.