Student Zombies Essay

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When (not if) the world is overcome with the mindless, living dead, my plan for survival will keep my brains, as well as anyone’s who follows this plan to the letter, intact. First, as everyone who still has a functioning brain knows, a survivor’s hiding place needs to be heavily stocked with the necessities: food, weapons, food, medicine, food, clothes, hygienic supplies, and of course, food. Logically, the best place to find such items, in vast quantities, would be Retail stores or Superstores, such as Wal-mart, Sam’s Club, or Costco.

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These stores usually operate within a large building perfect for keeping out those pesky zombies and keeping one’s brain out of their stomachs. This choice in accomodation also comes with the benefit of the usual surrounding stores which could prove very beneficial if one finds themself running out of certain supplies.

For example, my local Sam’s Club has a neighboring Gamestop, and who could say that they could do without some entertainment, as well as practice on virtual zombies before the encounter with the physical ones. As well as choosing a good hiding place, one needs of course bring a few personal items or tools should the choice in lodging not contain what is needed. A few suggestions would be: Photos of past loved ones (for obvious reasons), a bag (should a hasty exit be needed), and of course duct tape, as one can never have too much duct tape. This plan will keep any who follow it safe.

Additional comments:
First of all,I would just like to say that this is the greatest opportunity to win a Scholarship I have ever encountered. Thank you very much for the opportunity. If nothing else, I had a blast writing this. Now, about me. I want to become a cardiologist and to help people. Going to school for this career is not cheap. And any funds are greatly appreciated. I truly hope that you will strongly consider me for this scholarship. Thank you for your time.


Note
: A variation of this essay first appeared a while back over at the fabulous Nerdy Book Club, founded by Donalyn “The Book Whisperer” Miller, Colby Sharp (the man, not the cheese), and possibly several other folks. The history is not entirely clear to me. Nonetheless! You can follow all their nerdy, book-loving, classroom-centered hijinks on Facebook, Twitter, and various other social platforms, I’m sure. 

 

 

These days, young people are crazy about zombies. That’s just a plain fact. Not every kid, of course, but a lot of them.

And I’m here to say: Use that as an advantage in your classroom. Seize the zombie! Particularly when it comes to student writing. Some girls want to team up to conjure a story about a zombie apocalypse? Here’s a pen and paper. Go for it, ladies.

Many students, as young as third grade and on up into high school, are watching THE WALKING DEAD. The secret that quite of few of them don’t realize is that the hit television show is not about zombies at all. It’s about people surviving zombies. The zombies themselves are boring, without personality, almost irrelevant. They could be switched out for deadly fog, or World War II, a forest fire, or a tsunami. The zombies are simply a device to propel forward a character-driven story. It’s the engine that drives plot — all those pistons churning — and gives each moment heightened meaning.

That’s my point here. Any zombie story is almost entirely about character.

What we need to recognize is that, counter-intuitively, the zombie plot device perfectly lends itself to character-centered story. In the case of THE WALKING DEAD, it could even be argued that it’s about family, blended, modern, unconventional, or traditional.

With, okay, some (really) gross parts thrown in. Warning: Some characters in this story may get eaten. Hold the hot sauce. Ha! And why not, if that’s what it takes? If a little bit of the old blood and guts is the hook you need to lure in those writers, embrace it.

You can’t write a good zombie story without creating an assortment of interesting characters. Then you place those diverse characters in danger, you bring them into conflict with each other, you get them screaming, and talking, and caring about each other.

As, okay, they are chased by a bunch of zombies.

There’s no drama unless the writer makes us care about his or her characters. Your student writers will be challenged to make those characters come alive, become vivid and real. We have to care that they live or, perhaps, really kind of hope they get eaten alive in the most hideous way possible by a crazed zombie mob. Screaming, hopefully.

Don’t be turned off by that. Remember, it’s really all about character development, keep your focus to that. Dear teacher, I am saying this: embrace your inner zombie –- and turn those students loose. We can’t all write about dinner parties and visits from Aunt Gweneth.

What they will be writing will be no different than your typical Jane Austin novel. Except for, you know, all those bloody entrails.

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There are currently five books available in my “Scary Tales” series.

 

Category: In the Classroom, Scary Tales, the writing process / Tags: Best scary books for young readers, Best scary stories for children, Best scary stories kids, Colby Sharp, Donalyn Miller, James Preller, preller writing advice, Scary Tales series, The Nerdy Book Club, Tips for student writing, Writing about zombies, Zombies in the classroom

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