This class is for beginning writers who like stories and/or have an interest in writing. It would be appropriate for any child who knows many consonant sounds and how to form many letters and is willing to write. We will tell stories, make books, play storytelling games, and use words and pictures to put stories on paper. Children may write fiction stories, true stories, nonfiction, letters, etc. based on their own interest. They will be encouraged to use drawing to develop their ideas and will be helped to use invented spelling as a way of getting their thoughts on paper and practicing what they know about letters and sounds. The emphasis is on writing as a form of self-expression and communication. We will begin each class with an activity, game, picture book, and/or demonstration to inspire creativity, introduce ideas, and encourage the children to try new things. Various formats (simple blank books, lined and unlined paper, etc.) will be made available to accommodate different interests and skill levels. Children will receive individual support as needed and as time allows. There will be time to share writing with each other so that participants can experience what it is like to have an "audience" enjoy their writing. Depending on the interests of the children, this class may culminate in an "Author's Tea" for family and friends or the publishing of their work in homemade books.
Past interdisciplinary programs
that included writing:
Check back soon for updates on new classes, dates, times, etc.
"You can't order a poem like you order a taco." -Naomi Shihab Nye
"If we had to say what writing is, we would define it essentially as an act of courage." -Cynthia Ozick
"No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen? Will you be a reader, a student merely, or a seer?" -Henry David Thoreau
"They said, 'You have a blue guitar,/ You do not play things as they are.'/ The man replied, 'Things as they are/ Are changed upon the blue guitar.'" -Wallace Stevens
"To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write." -Gertrude Stein
River of Words Discovery Camp, a day camp based in Montpelier for ages 9-14
Both Sides of the Page: A Writing & Literature Class
Young Writers' Group, Ages 8-11
Young Writers' Group, Teens
This class is geared towards homeschoolers who are independent writers and enjoy creative writing. It provides an opportunity for young writers to learn together with peers who share this interest and to benefit from the ideas, inspiration, and feedback of a supportive teacher and group. Writing activities and exercises are used to inspire creativity, introduce strategies, and stretch the children to try new things. Participants are encouraged to work on pieces of their own choosing throughout the week and to bring these efforts back to the group. There is time to share writing with peers and give and receive feedback, as well as time for individual conferences with an experienced teacher. Writing is viewed as a form of self-expression and communication and the writer's choices and ownership of his/her writing are emphasized and respected. Depending on the interests of the participants, this class may culminate in a reading for family and friends or the "publishing" of their work in homemade books.
This group has been meeting weekly since September. Some participants are continuing this spring and we would be happy to include a few new people. So far, the group has worked on several types of writing pieces, including poems, short stories, essays, reports, and segments of longer fiction pieces. We have discussed qualities of writing that we love, aspects of the writing process, and how to give each other useful feedback. We have also looked at some specific elements of writing fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The kids expressed that they've really enjoyed the freedom to do their own writing, as well as the group discussions and ideas. They've also clearly appreciated the social element, relaxed atmosphere, and opportunity to have a supportive and appreciative audience for their writing (and their humorous comments). In December, we put out a small literary magazine, On the Verge of Dreaming, which includes some of the imaginative piece completed during our time together.
During the spring, students will continue to develop
writing pieces of their own choosing while exploring other aspects of the craft
of writing. Discussions and "mini-lessons" are planned in response
to the needs and interests of the group. We will continue to work on on specific
elements of writing fiction, non-fiction, and poetry and will focus more on
giving and receiving feedback in a "workshop" format. Throughout the
class, we will try different writing experiments and activities to inspire creativity
and gain new skills. Discussions about good writing and how writers go about
their craft will continue as well. We will end the "school" year by
putting together another edition of our magazine in May.