Writing at VAMPY

Over the past couple of weeks, the students in VAMPY’s writing course have explored the nuances of poetry, argumentation, and narrative writing. Our first week began with Poetic Devices 101 (e.g. metaphor, simile, imagery, etc.) and studying how they are used in literature. The students also learned how meter and rhyme scheme interplay to add to the complexity and flow of their poetry. To practice “showing” – as opposed to “telling”- a reader about a sensory experience, the class took a field trip to Lost River Cave. Throughout Week 1, the writers made 6 word memoirs, read dozens of famous poems, and created many pieces of their own.

As the week progressed, the students also began research for their Multi-Modal projects. These projects are centered around a central theme, argument or topic of the writer’s choosing, and they are composed of 5 different literary works. Examples of the types of media created by the writers include (but is not limited to) poems, dialogues, short stories, and research articles. Simultaneously, they began to compile works written in class to start the assembly of VAMPY’s Anthology.

During Week 2, the class changed gears and pivoted their attention to argumentation. The students learned about common logical fallacies, like ad hominem or “Strawmanning”. They honed their ability to identify these tactics of persuasion by analyzing the most recent Presidential Debate. To the delight of the students, we concluded the week by attempting to answer the age-old question: “What is the best Little Debbie Snack?”. In a research study designed by the students and distributed to 3 other VAMPY classes, it was proven that Swiss Rolls take the cake (pun intended).

Week 3 has been a sprint for the students. They’ve “locked-in” to complete the Anthology and their Multi-genre projects while also reading The Boys in the Boat. As they read through the novel, they are identifying how the author uses narrative elements to reinforce tropes of home, family and belonging. Overall, the past 2 ½ weeks have been equally fun and productive, and the students are excited to share their work with peers and parents alike.