Thoughts on a Summer Writer’s Program

Hey all! Just a regular blog post today.  I’m still working diligently on proofing the book.  Since I’m so familiar with the text (I did write it after all), it is a slower process than I anticipated, but I am making progress. I should be able to finish tonight.

Provided I don’t get too distracted by the internet.

Like I am now.

Anyway, my friend Shannon Meade and I are thinking of running a Summer Writer’s Program at our martial arts school.  We had a positive response from our NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program.  I have to admit that this is something I’m excited for.  I like being able to pass my writing knowledge onto other people.  And it’s always great to start kids young and encourage creativity.  While I have a basic idea of how I want this to work, I figured that I’d ask you guys if you had any suggestions.

Curriculum

I started breaking down the curriculum for this summer course when I had to sit out a class at taekwondo.  It’s an 8 week long course.  The first class is going to be introductions and an introduction to what makes a story a story.  I’m using the roller coaster diagram for explaining how a story runs.  I know I want to play a few name games so the kids can get familiar with each other.  I know that I want to have some writing prompt/game for the end of the day.  I’m thinking of breaking character development into two weeks.  I know I want to cover characters, setting, plot…but I think I’ve been writing so long that breaking it down further is making my brain hurt.

What would you suggest I cover?

Games!

Since this is a program for kids (unless some adults sign up too, then they can play games as well), I want to make sure they’re learning and having fun at the same time.  So that means some games.  We have story cubes, which are quite fun.  I’m thinking of having pictures so they can write a shot story based on that, buddy writing, group writing, you know.  Those kind of things.

Do you guys have any suggestions in that means?  I’m better at ‘general’ games.  I was a girl scout forever and a day, so I know plenty of games, but adapting them to a writing situation is just awkward and weird.  So if there are any teachers out there with suggestions, I would be eternally grateful.  I will also blog on the success of the program.

Age

How young is too young?  My only request with the kids is that they be able to read and write.  So we figured kids who have just finished second grade and up.  I might end up with a wide age range – which could be  really interesting.  I’m confident in my ability to make the material interesting for second graders and high school kids.  Do you think there is a ‘too young’ in a program like this?

Is there a ‘too advanced’? Or is there is a ‘too old’?

NaNoWriMo

Wow. I’m talking about National Novel Writing Month in June.  Seriously.  Anyway…we’re hoping to have this program tie into our young writer’s program – which will be really cool.  My question is do I want to work more on story elements for this summer and then segue into more novel based concepts later on?

So many questions, but I am genuinely excited for this program.  It’ll be great to pass my knowledge on.

~LL Lemke

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Summer Writer’s Program

  1. That sounds fantastic! I’ve always wanted to do something like that, but haven’t quite found the opportunity.

    For ages, I would say that if you’re inviting second graders, you should mention that in your promotional material. The worst thing is to be the lone high school student who shows up at a club full of ten year olds.

    For games, I just thought of this – maybe it would work? You said you’d have a class/meeting/whatever on character development, right? So you could give each kid a famous fictional character – I don’t know, Harry Potter, Gollum, etc. – and then have them write down a list of words that describe them. The idea is that they are learning how to describe their characters beyond the basic “blue eyes, blond hair” thing. And then once they have their list, the other kids have to guess who their character is from the words they thought up. Just an idea 🙂

    • I’m really excited about it – we did a NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program in November – it was small, fun group of kids. I’m anticipating at least them signing up for this. I would suggest organizing something like this if you get the chance. It’s really rewarding.

      That would probably be smart…I’ll have to edit one of the fliers I made. I do hope we have a few older kids. It would be fun to interact with them.

      That sounds like a great idea! I kind of wanted to have games correspond with what we were covering that week. That sounds like a perfect game for the second week of character development! Thank you!

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