Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Writing workshop encourages budding authors at Maple Grove

The focus has been on creativity over the last several weeks as 45 students have stayed “after class” for Maple Grove Elementary School’s first Writing Workshop.

The PTA-funded program gives students a look at many aspects of the writing experience. The 1st through 5th grade students got a chance to drop in to a number of writing stations, to explore Poetry, Story Line, Characters, Setting, Brainstorming and Words.

The Maple Grove Writing Workshop is sponsored in part by the Meadow Brook Writing Project, a Michigan site of the National Writing Project. Oakland University is the host university.

PTA parent Christina Hall is a writing teacher at OU and became a part of the Meadow Brook Writing Project when she heard about it through Marshall Kitchens, the director of MBWP and the head of the writing department at Oakland University. MBWP's goal is to help teachers and schools participate in professional development and other programs in order to improve student writing. MBWP sponsored the majority of the event and will fully support any writing activities in Lapeer Community Schools.

The Writing Workshop got a healthy assist from parent volunteers Margaret Tompkins, Lena Kline and Kim Knickerbocker. Maple Grove teachers Rose Rinke, Jacquie Campbell, Kelly Vangel and Lynn Delpy were also part of the team.

The first session on Nov. 22 included a visit from children’s author Dan Waltz, who discussed his books with the students. That session was the first of three, where students explored all aspects of a story and brainstorming. In the next session students created a story or collection of poetry, or in one case a co-authored novel. The works are being put together in a hardcover book. Writing Workshop students at Maple Grove also will participate in a Writing Festival Dec. 16 from 5-7 pm where the children will have the opportunity to share their work with parents and peers.

The Maple Grove program is a pilot for future Writing Workshop and Festivals. “We are looking at doing one in the fall and one in the spring, and the plan is also to create a program that will be duplicated in other schools in the district, “ said Hall.

“I am extremely pleased with how it is going so far, the kids had so much fun, and I can't wait for the rest of the sessions and for future projects in Lapeer.”

Additional photos are available in the LCS Picasa online photo albums at: