The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Helping local practitioners and state education agencies develop high-quality and balanced programs

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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Writing and Sharing Community Stories
Subject: Literacy
Grade span: 9 to 12
Duration: many sessions, 30 to 60 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Writing
view video Click here to view a Video Example of this type of lesson.


In 1999, David McKay (a high school English teacher from Aberdeen, Washington), challenged his students to create a professional publication for an authentic audience. Over the next several years, students researched, wrote, published, and sold books of stories from their specific community - stories about bits of wisdom, mothers, fathers, overcoming adversity, and an annual high school football rivalry. The annual publishing project dramatically increased student engagement, inspiring their best writing of the year. This extended activity asks afterschool students to interview community members for personal stories on a shared theme, write them up, polish, publish or perform, distribute, and even sell this collection at community events. If publication of the stories is out of reach (because printing needs to be funded or donated), the stories can be shared at a community event. This project requires a sustained focus over several weeks.

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Additional Resources


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Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.