Summer Writing Camps
The 2013 middle school and high school summer camps were so successful this year! Over 80 campers came to the UAB School of Education for a week (or two in some cases) of learning, fun activities, and of course: writing! Please read about the camps below and view the short videos for a recap of the wonderful month we have had at UAB Red Mountain Writing Project. For more photos of the week, please view our Facebook page.
WEEK 1: Fantastic!
This week's campers had a chance to share excerpts from favorite fantasies,discover new authors and build their reading lists. They also each uncovered the keys to writing a fabulous fantasy. Throughout the week, campers, with the help and leadership of Mrs. Cindy Peavy used the writing workshop method. They learned lessons and tips on developing setting, character, and plot and spent lots of time writing and critiquing their peers' stories. Over the course of the week, each student wrote an orginal fantasy novel. This was a creative group, and their parents had the opportunity to hear the students read their stories aloud at the end of the week.
WEEK 2: Hometown History
This week, students investigated and discovered so much about the history of Birmingham. Students began by writing persuasive essays on why visitors should come to Birmingham, and then they began constructing advertisement brochures for the city of Birmingham. On Wednesday the students visited the Birmingham Historical Center, The Peanut Depot, Kelly Ingram Park, The Civil Rights Institute, The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame! The students took pictures of these places and wrote down notes and facts about Birmingham that they will use in their presentations. UAB RMWP Teacher Consultants Shawnta Owens and Dr. Shonterrius Fountain worked dilligently to prepare the students for non-fiction writing, a large component of the Common Core State Standards. This was such an enthusiastic and bright group of campers, and their parents were able to enjoy a gallery walk of not only their orginal writing but also personal time capsules that each child prepared.
WEEK 3: Wild about Animals
Campers this week learned that writing about facts could indeed be fun and exciting! On Tuesday, campers, counselors, and Mrs. Debbie Simms went to the Birmingham Zoo, toured the entire Zoo, and chose an animal to observe in its habitat for 30 minutes. After returning back to UAB, they researched the animals thoroughly using basic research techniques and MLA citations. This week's campers created informational "kid-friendly" signs to go outside the habitats at the zoo. These signs wil be presented to the board at the Birmingham Zoo to encourage them to place them at the various habitats. In addition, the students wrote research essays on their animal.
WEEK 4: ArtSpeak
The students will be spent the week defining how art can speak in multiple ways: song, dance, sculpture, and paint! They wrote descriptive poetry about an object, feeling, or emotion of their choice, and then they actually sculpted their inspiration to combine both the pen and their artistic abilities! Later in the week, students studied Impressionist art and imitated the style in their own orginal painting. Campers then wrote an essay explaining and defending why their painting falls into that specific genre of art. Students also learned a Step Dance, a modern form of African Dance. The students interviewed the dancer, Michael Ragland, and wrote a reflective piece about their experience with the form of dance. Dr. Shonterrius Lawson-Fountain led the students on an artistic journey that will help them to connect the artistic process to the writing process!
Writing For the ACT:
High school students learned strategies on how to write effectively for the writing required on the ACT. During this seminar, campers practiced writing under timed pressure and received feedback from experienced instructors Lisa Stewart and Cherane Moreno who conferenced with them individually about their writing. In addition to the practice, teachers discussed an individual improvement plan to assist each students with his or her writing.
Writing A College Admission Essay:
This week's high school students learned more about how to write essays that reflect who they are and inform the reader about their strengths. Students were able to listen to a college admission counselor from UAB speak about the university's expectations. The experienced instructors, Lisa Stewart and Cherane Moreno, conferenced with the students individually and gave them specific feedback about improvements and areas that need more work in their writing.
Glen Iris Elementary Writing Camps
UAB RMWP also had the opportunity to lead the same themed writing camps at Glen Iris Elementary for third and fourth graders. Over 40 students came for four consecutive weeks to learn more about writing and how to have fun doing it! So many wonderful RMWP teacher consultants came to teach and help out during this busy summer.