Each day followed a literary genre theme in Creative Writing Camp 2018, as described in text and photographs.
We started with an introductory activity – giving names to an alien, sidekick, band, etc. After reviewing some writing mechanics, the students responded to a “deserted island” prompt, shared some of their stories, and then they made a “funny” version of those stories. We used scary-looking cards to inspire the next story (“about a scary dream, that you can twist in any way you like”). After snack, games, and some more sharing, the final day’s prompt was “You are running away …” For this one, we instructed the students to think about the ending first and work backward.
Fantasy day fell on Tuesday, July 31st — not coincidentally Harry Potter’s birthday. Campers and teachers alike wore costumes from their favorite fantasy characters (wizards, superheroes, princesses, droids, etc.). They wrote stories, wrote and performed skits, and ate birthday cake.
On Wednesday, the students focused on historical fiction. Based on a broad prompt, they wrote fictional stories about scribes in ancient Greece, a doctor and his patient during the Plague in Europe, the beginning of our country with a major twist on our Founding Fathers, butterflies that attacked the Declaration of Independence, an orphan hiding aboard the Titanic, an American spy captured during WWII, and a young girl fighting against segregation in the Jim Crow South, among others. We gave them a few potential ideas, but they came up with most of those historical settings, characters, and stories entirely on their own. We also focused on character development with some games and activities.
Thursday was “Science Fiction” day. We started with an instruction to write about an alien, a spaceship, or a planet. Then we broke into teacher-led peer groups to discuss, edit, and improve. We also distinguished between science fiction and fantasy, had a lively discussion about their visions of the future and how that could be translated into stories, worked on plot development skills, and wrote science fiction stories.
FINAL DAY/READ ALOUD CELEBRATION
Friday started with poetry – haiku and limerick writing. Developing their skills for starting a story, we read aloud from some of the most well-known beginnings and then the campers wrote their own powerful and dramatic beginnings. Because the campers loved the fantasy skits, they were given the opportunity to create and perform some improvisational skits too. After more sharing, writing, reviewing, editing, and finalizing, students read their stories aloud to their peers and families. Then we celebrated creativity, imagination, and creative writing — with donuts, of course!
To see the students’ Fantasy day skits, click here.