Today is the day!!!! The students of the UNCG Young Writer’s Camp are presenting their stories. For two weeks, they have worked on Voicethread, Animoto and Flipbook, practiced their presentations and gained advice from the staff. I am sure they are ready. In fact, this morning, two of our students presented a cheer in front of the class, demonstrating their enthusiasm. Some of them will be reading their stories at the School of Education Building in the morning while the others will present at the Scuppernong Bookstore later in the afternoon. I can’t wait for the families to hear their children’s hard work and I am sure this camp experience has encouraged them to explore more with their writing skills. They are more confident, gained more knowledge and tips and enjoyed the creativity in which writing brings. With their newly developed skills, they will enjoy writing and greatly excel in the new school year and in life.
It has been an amazing experience for the students, the teachers and for myself. I hope you enjoyed the camp and blog, as it provided an inside look into our program.
I hope to see you next year.
Also, let as give a BIG THANKS to our teachers, assistants and volunteers, for coming together this summer.
In stories, it is not just about fairies and fantasy that never occurred. Stories consist on personal experience, history and memories of childhood. Julia Ebel came to UNCG today to discuss her journey towards being an author. She published books like Walking Ribbon, Jack Tales and Hansi and the Iceman, but within those pages and pictures, a bit of her life is contained. Walking Ribbon consists of a story from her grandmother about walking with a calf. After visiting a small town, researching her family and using her imagination to fill in the gaps, she created a story about a young girl, about nine years old, walking a calf besides a railroad. A part of her history, her experience and visions brought a new story to life.
Though we may not notice it, a part of our lives is embedded on paper. The students of the Young Writer’s Camp created their stories, videos, poems and illustrations. Whether their theme is non fiction, science fiction, a memoir, etc, it is all started within their minds as an event or thought occurred in the past, bringing forth their ideas so it may one day become real. Even their experience in the camp has become a part of themselves and everyone else, from the staff who put the program together and assisted the students with writing, to the new friends the young generation have made these past two weeks. As of today, it was the final day to complete final editing, publications and practice for the big presentation tomorrow at UNCG and later at Scuppernong Books. So far, everyone is ready and excited to present their work to their friends and family. I am so proud of them and I can’t wait to hear the new stories they have brought into the world.
For today’s guest speaker, Jennifer Whitaker discussed with the students about the form of poetry. Poetry is one the most common genres in literature, as it requires aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language, whether it rhymes, written as a haiku or follows a vibrant flow. One of the most important concepts in poetry is symbolism, as the words are placed and carefully selected to describe the setting, inner thoughts and events. Instead of reading a long passage of words that already explains the topic, a poem uses the words to bring meaning, images and feeling into the page as you speak.
During the discussion, Jennifer shared a few of her published works, such as one indicating the lifestyle through Cinderella's eyes. Afterwards, she had the students write a quick draft of a poem describing something or someone they cared about. For those who choose to read their draft aloud, indicated their visions and feeling so creatively. So far, some of our students in the Young Writer’s Camp are working on poetry for their presentations and decided to share some of their published writing. This discussion provided some feedback and practice for them and from what I heard, their works are as amazing as Dr, Seuss, Edgar Allan Poe and Shakespeare.
My favorite poem is Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, especially the line:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
For me, the area of poetry provides life and meaning due to experience and feeling. No matter how you read it, there is always a different point of view, but it always strike your heart.
One of the most important factors everyone must remember when demonstrating your writing materials is presentation. Reading your work aloud is the key to connecting with the audience. It is a way to show your work, images and to ensure the topic is understood. Everyone must present to others all of the time. There are authors, guest speakers, performers, teachers, students for school projects, scientists, business people, people during an interview and even the president. Did you ever see one of President Obama's speeches on TV? Notice that when he presents himself, he is wearing a formal suit and speaks in a clear voice so his message is shared with the country and indicated as an important topic. During an interview for a job or volunteer opportunities, look sharp and neat, answer questions in a positive voice and stick to the topic, so your new boss can see a confident and serious person whom will work hard if they receive the job. It is the same thing when presenting a simple piece of literature or a school project, look calm and presentable, while speaking clearly to the audience, demonstrating your work and yourself.
Sometimes, it becomes terrifying to stand in front of a crowd, almost feeling like you are going to faint. There are times the words are stuttered and mumbled through your mouth, your hands start to shake, and your forehead is sweating due to the heat of the artificial light and nervousness. Don’t worry about it; everyone gets stage fright when presenting their work. I get nervous too before presenting. Here are some tips obtained from today’s activities.
I am sure the students of the Young Writer’s Camp will be excited and less scared for their presentations on Friday. They have worked real hard these last few days. Some are already practicing on what they will present. Practice, of course, makes prefect. To make sure you know what you are saying, making some flashcards, practice in front of the mirror and use a recorder to hear yourself and ensure on what the audience will see on your big day.
So don’t get worried or start freaking out. Be calm and confident as you stand on that stage. This is your moment to shine and bring your stories to life. Let's not forget - you want to be presentable when you say your thank you speech at the Tony Awards for Best Performance or Script Writing.
After a weekend of fun and relaxation, everyone is back for another week at UNCG Young Writer’s Camp. To start the day off, all of the students had to wrote a story based on a picture of a pair of boots covered with sand. Each student had a different version to share. They have grown so much since the past week. Most of the campers have already started editing their stories and so far, they all look amazing. Everyone have worked really hard to demonstrate their writing. Some are inserting their own illustrations, others are doing flipbooks, videos and voicethread to bring their stories to life. I can’t wait for the presentations.
It is almost hard to believe this is the beginning of the second week of camp. Time flies so fast when you learning, socializing, blogging, writing and eating snacks. It is such a beautiful day today, with the sun shines upon your face and the air providing a cool breeze. As the students took a breather outside during their snack time, they were talking to each other, sharing their thoughts, laughing and smiling. These kids, from the elementaries to high schoolers are really breaking out of their shells, not only improving their writing skills but also engaging with new friends. Since the new school year is coming up in a few weeks, I am positive that these students will be comfortable and be ready to take on the essays, homework, applications and projects. I remember the first time I participated in the Young Writer’s Camp. I was about to start my final year of high school and there was a lot of pressure on me. I had my AP classes, SATs, resumes and college applications. I felt that the whole world was weighing on top of me. After two weeks of this experience, I became more confident and ensured. I learned new skills and programs, some of my new friends were in my high school and I had a good time in the college I planned to enroll in. Surely after obtaining this experience, the students will be ready to face new challenges in their lives.
Writing, Writing, Writing!!!!
It is a way to truly release yourself of stress and discover the creative ideas stored deep inside the mind. Putting words on a page is a part of everyday life and will forever live on. I am just glad the students are experiencing the wonders of creative writing, especially since they have a few more days to enjoy the camp.