Today Peninsula Young Writers campers in both morning and afternoon sessions "warmed up" to poetry by writing similes and playing rhyming games. Then they crafted "monster" limericks, and wrote scrambled acrostic poems and secret codes to include in their stories. See the "poetry" page to read some of the campers clever limericks!
Our third and final session of "Flight" finished this Friday with campers reading from their stories and poems. We had a very talented group of 12 campers ranging in age from 7 to 13 and who wrote stories including such characters as flying golf balls, space aliens, dragons, turtles and more. Parents, friends, and PYW board members attended our "literary salon" to listen to story excerpts, odes,and haiku. See the poetry page for samples. All the campers received enthusiastic applause before we celebrated with refreshments and sparkling cider.
The first two days of Session 3, Mystery Writing, have flown by. Using "story starters," campers plunged into their mystery plots and eagerly drafter early scenes. In the meantime we began solving our own "Library Mystery," in which a dragon escapes from a fantasy novel and our whole group of detectives has to examine clues and interview suspects to apprehend the criminal. Stay tuned for Thursday! Tomorrow we will write mystery poems as clues for our stories.
Campers have learned and practiced the complete writing process this week from brainstorming ideas and storyboarding to drafting, revising and editing stories and poems. Today they began the "publishing" process by designing their book covers and tomorrow they will finish their book projects as they recopy or paste in text and illustrate their pages. We look forward to our "literary salon" celebration with parents and friends in the afternoon!
Today we took our second group of campers for a field trip to Hiller Aviation Museum. This is our first summer at Taft Community School in Redwood City and we have a great group of campers enrolled both from Taft and from other schools on the peninsula. Campers began the day devising questions they wanted to answer about flight, the history of flight and airplanes, and other topics related to engines, helicopters, women pilots and what makes planes fly. We asked each of them to research a "fun fact" to share with the group on our return. See the photos of our activities at the museum below.
In the afternoon campers continued drafting their "flight" stories by adding further complications to the plot and including dialogue. We shared our stories in progress with our small groups. Topics include skydiving, searching for lost parents on the moon, a spaceship with only 100 hours left of oxygen and many more imaginative plots.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday raced by this week as campers wrote odes, shape poems, and animal riddles, developed their stories with complications to the plot and added dialogue, revised "wrecked" poems, and designed and "published" their books. Friday we had a wonderful "literary salon" celebration for an appreciative parent audience to listen to the campers stories and poems. Our first week of "Flight" launched beautifully! See more photos on the PHOTO page. A special thanks to the staff of Session One featured in photos below: Co-Teacher Martín Blank, Counselors Zachary Lo and Anna Paczuski, and CITs Lori Sibun-Handler and Yamini Prasad.
Today we took a field trip to Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos where campers learned about the history of flight beginning with John Montgomery and the Wright brothers to the first woman to fly solo around the world following Amelia Earhart's route. Here are some of the responses campers recorded in their notebooks about the visit:
--One thing I learned was about a woman who flew over the whole world.
--My favorite part of the field trip was going inside the helicopter simulator.
--My favorite thing about the field trip was building balsa wood airplanes.
--Today I learned the history of many planes such as the first plane ever.
Hopefully, campers will incorporate some of what they learned about flight and airplanes in the stories they are almost through drafting. . .
In our last writing camp session for the summer, we invited the therapy dogs to come one last time. Campers enjoyed quality bonding time with the dogs (big and small). Although the visit was a welcome break from the drafting process, we got right back to writing once the dogs left and wrote "Thank You Odes" about the dogs. This year's "Pet Parade" theme has inspired countless stories and brought much joy to campers and Peninsula Young Writers staff alike.
On the first day of Session 4, we kicked off the week's "Time Travel" theme with a time machine experience. Each camper received a ticket to travel back in time. Campers entered the time machine (bottom far right), received a time assignment, then exited with information about a certain time period.
Campers "arrived" deep into the age of Ancient Egypt, Rome, China, and Greece or into the more modern times of the American Revolution, World Wars and the 1920s. Later, these very same time periods appeared in their stories along with many other original time travel locations.