(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)
For all of July, we in the CLMOOC community were drawing and doodling and sharing. With today’s theme of “exit” now complete, I was trying to figure out how best to grab all of 31 of my doodles together. I’m still hoping to do a collage, but this video version via Animoto will have to do for now. The use of the artistic garden animation theme seemed … appropriate.
Many of the crowd-sourced themes connected to the Write Out project, which is another open learning adventure that took place the last few weeks.
I used the Paper app on my iPad for my doodles, and making art is always tricky for me. Writing is so much easier. Words flow faster than visual ideas. These pieces were all done with fingers, not stylus. Sort of like finger-painting. So, some of these doodles I made I like a lot and some, not so much.
What I appreciated most was the call and invitation to doodle in a networked community, and to share with others, and to see how my friends took the same idea in different directions.
Peace (on the tip of the pen),
We’re wrapping up the summer portion of Write Out, after two full weeks of activity and sharing an open learning network. You can read the last newsletter — which has suggestions for video reflections via Flipgrid and a LRNG Playlist to continue the work of making connections into the school year — and the hope is that teachers find park rangers, and park rangers find teachers.
And that these partnerships help students find places beyond their schools and classrooms to become inspired to write about the world.
As the band, Semisonic, reminds us: Every new beginning starts from some other beginning’s end.
Peace (start at the end),
This is a bit of time-warp sharing, I guess. Although the two-week Write Out project formally is coming to a close this weekend, this writing camp project at our local National Park Service site — the Springfield Armory — happened just before Write Out started. But I finally got a video together to share out as we sorted out media permissions of students. Write Out is a partnership from National Writing Project and the National Park Service to connect educators to park spaces for place-based writing activities.
Our free summer camp — Minds Made for Stories — was aimed at middle school students from a social justice middle school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Funding for the camp came from Mass Humanities. Coordination of the camp involves the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, the Armory, the school system and the Veterans Education Project.
A component of this project is a series of Professional Development sessions that I facilitated with the Springfield teachers, who then helped run the camp. We are planning more PD at the Armory for the Fall as well, thanks to a grant from the National Writing Project.
We had nearly 20 students for a full week, at the Springfield Armory itself, exploring primary source material, using the museum itself as our “text,” welcoming visitors to the program to talk about women’s roles during WW2 and the Double V campaign for civil rights as well as a soldier’s life in the Civil War, and lots of different kinds of writing.
What kinds of writing? Some of the activities …
- Every day, they wrote into the day in notebooks, reflecting on different topics that then framed the learning and exploration of the day
- They conducted some research on issues related to the role of the Armory in history as a source of innovation and technology and chose from different genres to share their learning
- They designed museums of their interest as architectural drawings, imagining themselves as architects and presented their plans to the group
- They created an advertising campaign aimed at women during World War II after learning about propaganda and the ways words and image can come together
- They wrote about our visitors — one women helped them understand rationing during the war as well as the role of the mythical Rosie the Riveter, another was a Vietnam War vet who talked about being a black American in the armed forces and the role of the Double V Campaign to spark the Civil Rights movement, and a third was a Civil War Re-Enactor who marched our campers through the fields
- They reflected on their learning as they wrote out of the day in their notebooks
The video captures some of the student explorations, and one of our final “publishing” events for the camp was the creation of a public display of student work that is now on the floor of the Springfield Armory museum, giving Armory visitors a look into some of the writing that students did this summer.
All this to say, while a lot of Write Out work took place outside, and in beautiful forests and mountains and streams, there are also plenty of urban landscapes and history-rich buildings to explore, too.
Peace (in time),
This is the third version of a poem I wrote for Write Out, using found sounds from the National Park Service sound site. The first version was a text poem, with links to sounds. The second version was a podcast, with my voice layered with the sounds. This final version is a digital poem, with image and sound and voice.
What I have been trying to get at is how to best incorporate sound with a poem. While this version is the most visually pleasing, I admit that I sort of like the podcast — the version of just voice and sound — the best, for it forces you to imagine the animals and scenery. Here, I show you the image from the sound files.
Which version do you like?
Peace (in poems),
I could not attend the second Twitter Chat for Write Out last night, so this morning, I spent some time digging into the questions and the responses as part of my curation after the fact.
I loved the use of a haiku inspired by the work of others (that is so Writing Project, as Dave says in his tweet) and the sharing of explorations as well as the thinking around student writing and publication. It was nice to see some new folks in the mix and the conversation is another example of how networking builds connections. Which is a main goal of Write Out itself.
Peace (in the sharing),
PS — I pulled out just the haiku poems
The other day, I use some found sounds from the National Park Service website to inspire a poem I called “Hiking the Wild Mind.”
But I didn’t feel satisfied with it in that version. It was text with links to the sounds. What I wanted to do was have the poems and the sounds together, as a podcast.
I’ll be doing one more variation of the poem in the next day or two.
Peace (sounding out),