With the final day of middle school writing tech in the books as of yesterday, I can officially say it was a huge success. I would have completed this post yesterday, but I needed to catch up on some much needed rest. The very last day I did a video writing prompt with the kids. We watched the Duck Song which is easily accessible on Youtube. If you type in Duck Song in the search box, you won’t have a problem finding it! Upon completion of viewing the video, I asked the campers how the video was related to writing and what made it so appealing. We also discussed the idea of visual literacies. The campers really wanted to make their own video that mirrored the Duck Song, but unfortunately we didn’t have the time. It may be something to consider for next year.
Upon completing their writing into the day with the video prompt, we had our last guest speaker. Our last speaker was an individual who was a head of some of the food services at CMU. He actually runs the small bagel shop in the EHS building. He discussed with the campers what someone in his position does on CMU and how the food service works at CMU. I myself was really amazed at the processes that took place to meet the needs of all of the CMU students when they are all on campus. Creating surveys and reports on student population were just a few of the items he discussed dealing with the writing world.
When our speaker was done speaking, he took us on a tour of one of the dining places on campus. It was huge! The kids really were able to understand better what has to take place to feed over 6000 students who attend CMU. The students really enjoyed their free ice cream too.
After returning from our tour and eating a quick lunch, we talked to the students about fast food and doing research on some of their favorite fast food restaurants or foods. The students learned about the research process and what to look for in a trustworthy source, especially when it comes to the internet. Though the students didn’t have an enormous amount of time because it was the last day, the students were given more specific topics dealing with food and asked to research their topic online and then report back what they find. Some students wrote a small blurb, others showed a short video. This lesson/activity they did is great, but I would like to introduce it to them on the first day next year and then by the end of the week they can present their findings in a digital video, podcast, or a glog of some sorts. They could even create a cartoon on toondoo.com to create some sort of venue to show what they have learned. It was a lot for them to do in one day.
At the end of the day, the campers worked on their piece they were going to submit for our anthology. Each student contributed one piece to our anthology and as co-directors we are putting together an anthology which will be mailed to them. After they were done polishing their piece and sending it to me via Google Docs, they anxiously waited for their parents and guardians to arrive. The participants then took some time to go over all of the work they completed throughout the week and showed them Youth Voices. This lasted about a half hour and then we came back together as a whole group and volunteers shared with the whole group.
Overall, I feel the camp went really well. The students seemed to have a really great experience using the Ipads, listening to various speakers talk about writing, and visiting different places to get inspired to write. It was incredible how many of the campers came up to me to say thank-you for the week. It meant a lot to me! In addition, there were many parents who commented on the fact that they would be back next year. With this being our first year, there are a lot of thing we can improve upon. On the other hand, we are hoping this group can be a solid base and all of them return next year. I definitely want to direct again next year and incorporate Youth Voices once again too. Thanks to all who have followed our adventure this week!