by Allie Millay
With a week under their belts, Writing students have enjoyed exploring the creative corners of their brains. Through both reading like a writer and writing like a reader, students refined their skills and worked on putting even their most elaborate ideas down on paper with strong sentence structure and their own individual flair.
To start each day, we write together from Rebekah O’Dell’s 100 Days of Summer Writing. As we all focus in one one image, quotation, or chart, we reflect, process, and analyze. We make sense of this small piece of the world, track our thoughts in writer’s notebooks, and relish in a communion of conflicting thoughts and ideas. Our class is a safe space where differences and vulnerability are accepted and appreciated, where sharing thoughts, ideas, and even the burden of writer’s block draws us together and helps us grow.
After our daily workouts, campers are primed and ready to work diligently on their Multigenre Multimodal Projects. Each day students devote time, energy, and mental space to worlds and characters they began developing based on their own unique interests and wonderings. Using a variety of genres and presentation styles, students each create a cohesive body of text that, woven together, tells a multi-perspective story to showcase their artistic interests and talents. Though their topics range from Egyptian mythology to tales of Holocaust and persecution to generational conflicts, they work together nonetheless, providing support and constructive feedback to their peers.
In learning to tell the tales they’d crafted in their minds, the class followed the example of those who tell stories around us. In a world filled with stories, the writers digest the people they see, the conversations they hear, and the words they read. During daily reading hour, students immerse themselves into the worlds that great authors have woven into existence with words, searching for structures to imitate in their own work. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery.
Even break time is filled with writing-oriented, critical thinking games. Bananagrams is a favorite for burning some pent-up energy — the class competes daily for the title of Top Banana.
In Writing, we invest time and energy into living like a writer: taking in stories and characters all around us as we go about our daily lives. So, in the coming days, campers will engage in a good old-fashioned writer’s workshop at Starbucks in downtown Bowling Green, traverse the rugged terrain at Lost River Cave to garner some inspiration for upcoming projects, and even learn from interactive storytellers at Mind Bender Escape Rooms.
We are learning quickly that we, in the writing class, have so many stories to explore and so little time left before the campers find their way back home.