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The Ghost Story

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Keywords: Halloween Publication, Book Making, Graphic Arts, Creative Writing
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Art, Technology, Journalism
Grades 7 through 12
School: Southern Columbia Middle School, Catawissa, PA
Planned By: Victoria Kozlek
Original Author: Victoria Kozlek, Catawissa
Overview: Our area is full of rich history and spooky folklore. Students will examine these local legends and compose spooky creative writing pieces. Students will next combine their stories with ghostly images created in Adobe Photoshop. Finally the class will combine all their projects in a Halloween Publication.
Main Objectives:
1. After analyzing the key elements of scary stories, students will be able to apply their knowledge by writing their own scary stories.

2. Students will be able to create a ghostly image to reflect their story in Adobe Photoshop.

Other Objectives/Goals
Students will be able to:

* Develop an understanding of scary story elements by examining setting, characters, plot, and endings
* Recognize descriptive word choices and details that contribute to the effect of a scary story and apply those descriptive elements to the writing of their own scary story.
* Make reading and writing connections by demonstrating their understanding of scary story elements through the writing of their own scary story.
* Apply the writing process by brainstorming, prewriting, peer editing, revising, and publishing their scary story.
* Students will be able to create a ghostly image to reflect their story in Adobe Photoshop using some of the following techniques: opacity change, dodge tool, burn tool, motion blur, multiple layer blends, hue/saturation change, color blends, noise filter.

Simple Directions: Students will need to come up with a ghost story based upon a Pennsylvania (or your locale) legend. Students will use the ghost story checklist to write a 300 word story. Students will then create an image in Adobe Photoshop to match your spooky tale using the filters and techniques learned in class.

Detailed Directions:
Class one: Teacher will dim the lights in the room and tell a spooky tale to the class. Students will then discuss what elements make a good ghost story. Students will develop a classroom diagram recognizing descriptive word choices and details that contribute to writing a ghost story.

Class two: Students will begin researching local legends and haunted spots. Students will use these places to form their own creative writing piece. In Pennsylvania we use the following websites:
1. Haunted PA: <http://www.visitpa.com/hauntedpa/site/index.shtml>
2. Shadowlands PA: <http://theshadowlands.net/places/pennsylvania.htm>

three: Students will learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create ghostly images. The teacher will show students how to use the opacity tool to create transparent specters. The teacher will show how to age an image by desaturating it to black and white and adding sepia tones. The teacher will also show students how to use the motion blur and noise filters to enhance their images. Students practice with images supplied by the teacher.

Class four: Students will create their own images in Adobe Photoshop to match their creative writing pieces. Students may use cameras to take pictures for their projects.

Class five: Finally students will merge both their stories and images in a publishing program to form a Halloween Magazine. Students can take home this spooky booklet and share the local hauntings with their friends and family.
Links: Sample Project Picture
Ghost Stories of PA
Materials: Point and Shoot, Word Processor, Paint
Other Items: Adobe Photoshop
Microsoft Publisher
Digital Cameras
Word Processing