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Pick Your Path: Teaching Sociology with a Creative Writing Assignment
Red toy houses in a line.
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Keywords

introduction to sociology
creativity
writing

How to Cite

Monteblanco, Adelle. 2022. “Pick Your Path: Teaching Sociology With a Creative Writing Assignment”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, January. Washington DC: American Sociological Association. https://trails.asanet.org/article/view/pick-your-path.

Abstract

Fostering students’ creative thinking is a frequent goal of higher education instructors. When instructors aim to develop this skill in their students’ sociological writing, it encourages instructors to create alternatives to the commonly used research paper. This assignment requires students to write a Pick Your Path (PYP) story. A PYP story, also...

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Details

Subject Area(s):
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):
Medium, Small

Usage Notes

Class context:
I have integrated this assignment twice into an Introduction to Sociology course at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). The class usually enrolls 40 students, largely general education students who have never been exposed to sociology. MTSU is a public school with nearly 20,000 undergraduate students enrolled and uses a semester...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will learn how social position influences individual choices and/or constraints.
  2. Students will develop a more sociological and intersectional understanding of identity.
  3. Students will create and communicate a story that demonstrates an understanding of how social factors shape poverty and eviction.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. The Pick Your Path writing demonstrates that the student thought about how economic status, race, gender, formal educational attainment, geography, and social capital shape individual lives and experiences.
  2. The Pick Your Path writing includes a main character who is fully developed, with intersecting identities reflecting privilege and marginalization.
  3. The Pick Your Path writing reflects an understanding of how social factors shape poverty and eviction by applying them to the character and his/her/their choices (housing, employment, etc.)

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