Back to school happens early doesn’t it? When I was growing up, school started the last week of August (before anyone knew it was my birthday, so my locker rarely got decorated). This year I’m super grateful to begin my work in a classroom with advanced 8th grade language arts students. The students took my “What do you want to learn” survey and their pattern is the same as most of the classes I’ve worked with over the past few years. Crime, Fantasy, and Humor are their top three interests. Because why? Because that’s what most students read/watch and enjoy.
I’ve been writing and studying Crime Fiction for nearly two years (I’m a lifetime reader of these genres though), so I’m extra interested in teaching it – especially stretching developing writers beyond the traditional mystery unit and into the tropes and pacing of suspense and thrillers.
I’m currently querying the YA Heist novel I finished in the spring which also keeps me thinking about crime.
For 3rd-8th grade it’s hard to find resources for teaching crime fiction. I’ve adapted the resources for adults and worked with readers, writers, and librarians to find age appropriate examples. Here’s a great short article to get you started: How to Write a Crime Novel: 9 Tips For Writing Crime Fiction