Alien Story/Paper

DUE: Monday 11/21

Format: typed, 12 pt. font, 1.5 spacing, standard margins

Length: 5 pages*

Content: You will choose how to approach the Alien theme in your writing.  While stories are the most common type of writing I see for this paper, you may also choose to write an essay, screenplay, or…  If you have questions about what to write, come talk to me!

Prewriting: On Monday 10/24, we responded to the following prompts to get ourselves started on the papers.  We wrote on each for about 5 minutes, then took some time to add/combine ideas.

  • A story about an alien organism, disease, virus, etc.
  • A story that involves an alien environment.
  • Experiencing an alien custom/ritual/event.
  • Encountering an alien communication/Message/Language
  • A good ol’ story about an alien creature, monsters, aliens, etc., either extra terrestrial, or from this earth!

*If you have an IEP/504 accommodation that we should consider, let me know! 🙂


The Alien (unit) has arrived!

Like we did with Time Travel, we’ll focus our Alien work towards 3 outcomes:

  • Reading a book (with an in-class reading reflection)
  • Writing a story (“5-pager” this time)
  • Creating a Group Presentation

Due Dates for Alien Unit:

Tuesday, November 15th: IN CLASS written reflection on your book.  Bring the book with you and be prepared to explain how the alien theme is represented, provide text support for your ideas, discuss the author’s intent/choices.

Thursday, November 17th: Group Presentations.  Provide an “alien” experience for the class.

Monday, November 21st: 5-page alien stories due.  1.5 spacing, standard margins, 12 pt font.  Please make me the 3rd reader for your story.

What we’ll do in class between now and then:

(various days): classes in which we process the idea of “Alien” in various engaging ways.  We’ll get your groups planning and your stories started.

November 1,3, and 8: 3 classes for our Personal Essay Mini-Unit.  We’ll take a brief departure from our Alien work to write some of the best work of your life!

November 15-21: 2-3 classes to wrap up our Alien work: Reading Reflection and Presentations.


Writing Help:

Although we typically don’t look at it until second semester, the Hero’s Journey (see below) may help you extend the plot of your story and reach the 5-page threshold.

A quick reminder of “The Hero’s Journey”, which might be useful if you’re trying to extend your alien story.  Use any/all of these bullet points to inspire your story writing.  For more detail, see the link below.


  • Call to Adventure
  • Refusal of the Call
  • Supernatural aid/event
  • Crossing the Threshold
  • The Belly of the Whale


  • The Road of Trials
  • Meeting the Supernatural
  • Confronting Issues
  • Defying Death
  • Winning!


  • Refual of the Return
  • Escape from Winning!
  • Rescue from Without
  • Return to the Threshold
  • Master of Two Worlds
  • Free to Live!

Here’s a bit more detail (with some slightly different titles):