National Writing Day Sparks Creativity at Rahway HS

Rahway High School freshmen compose scary stories after reading Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

RAHWAY — To help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is, the National Council of Teachers of English has established Oct. 20 as The National Day on Writing.

Each year, Rahway High School teachers in all disciplines mark the occasion by having their classes engage in creative writing assignments.

  • This year, Jessica DeRose’s Biology students used their understanding of the characteristics of living beings to write essays as prosecutor or defense of a Martian who had come to Earth and returned to his planet, stating that automobiles were living things.
  • In Jeffrey Romano’s English I class, after studying Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” students used what they had learned to write a scary story.
  • Spanish II students of Carmen Sierra created Facebook profiles for themselves, including writing their own personal bio in Spanish. Her other students wrote letters in Spanish to penpals from other classes.
  • Patricia Peloso’s American History students discussed Randy Pausch’s speech, “The Last Lecture,” and wrote about their own attitudes and dreams.

    Rahway High School history teacher Patricia Peloso encourages student reflection on how attitude and outlook affect living your dream.

  • David Brighouse’s history students challenged themselves to follow Hemingway’s example of creating a short, short story, using only 6 words, shades of Twitter or texting.
  • Food critics were the order of the day in Patricia Williams’ math classes.
  • Christine McNicholas’ students drew a random household object out of a container and had to persuade classmates why this item should exist. Students later read their essays for the class and were videotaped.
  • Drama students of Alison Dooley created scripts of events occurring before and after a given scenario, while dance students wrote detailed letters to administrators explaining their gratitude for the dance program.
  • Mr. Radler’s history students dealt with a situation after a nuclear war, where certain hypothetical persons were in a shelter with limited resources and too many people. Students had a timed writing assignment about the process of determining who would be allowed to stay and why.

Many English classes composed creative pieces that may become part of the Ex Animo, the Rahway District literary journal, published each spring. Last year’s journal may be viewed on the school website at

The National Day on Writing celebration is organized by School Coordinator Kim Kiefer.


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