Blazing the Trail Ahead: Where Write Out Goes From Here
While the two weeks of Write Out Activity Cycles have formally come to an end, that doesn’t mean that the learning and connecting has to stop or even slow down. In fact, our hope is that the summer work is merely a seed planted, destined to become the forest or field of ideas that will sprout up as educators, park rangers and writers begin to do more work together as a community of learning and practice. Through the resources in the G+ community, on twitter at #WriteOut, and on writeout.nwp.org, we have an opportunity to keep sharing, working, and reflecting.
Mapping possibilities has been great fun and we encourage you to keep working toward our shared mission!
Collage: Top, image from Hudson Valley Writing Project, Courageous Writers; Second, LRNG Innovator Social Innovations Leadership Sabbaticals in Antioch, TN; Third, image from Project Write in Philadelphia PA; Fourth, posted by Stephanie Volkland on G+
In the past week of Activity Cycle Two, Mapping Connections, we’ve had some fascinating conversations about the partnerships between National Writing Project sites and the National Park Service, as well as suggestions and advice on how you might forge those connections. Or at least, we hope week two inspired you to consider the value of place-based writing activities for yourself, your students or visitors, and your communities.
Meanwhile, the vibrant and fast-moving chat on Twitter this week was a celebration of the work being done by Write Out participants all over the map, as well as a call to recognize and honor the work of others through a haiku poetry activity.
For each Activity Cycle, we’ve offered concrete invitations for you to wander, trek, hike and camp into the known and unknown terrain. What we’d like to focus on for this newsletter is the work that can extend beyond July, asking ourselves the question, where do we go from here?
Here are some Flipgrid thoughts from Kevin and Kristin about what they might do next (password=writeout!). Add your own thoughts by clicking on the Green +. It’s super easy and fun and no sign-in required.
Let’s keep the conversations, sharing, and connecting going in the months ahead! You can continue your work and keep reaching out to folks you met on this two week journey. There will also be follow up from National Writing Project and National Park Service staff for continued opportunities later this fall, so stay tuned for more!
And remember, you can get a badge for this work. …
The LRNG Playlist for Write Out, We Make the Road By Walking, is a series of activities, connected to Write Out’s Activity Cycles, with an extension idea to collaborate with someone else, at some other writing project or park site. Use this list to submit work you’ve been doing/want to do and receive a digital open badge linked to your portfolio of work.
… Just like a park ranger!
Or just be and consider the work you do as blazing a trail, of marking the path for others to follow. In the end, it is the work we do together – as educators and park rangers and others – that broadens and enriches the experiences of students of all ages when they open eyes to the possibilities of writing out.
Rich Novack, inspired by his students above, leaves us with these thoughts (pun intended):
As an English teacher, I sometimes take students outdoors to learn how to read the world in addition to the word. Using many forms of media, including writing, students represent nature and the world. This video shows how I invite students to create field journals. This is a teacher-teaching-teachers as part of #WriteOut, a collaboration between the National Writing Project and the National Parks Service. I’d love to learn more about what teachers are doing in a similar fashion.
In creative and joyful learning solidarity,
The Write Out Team:
- Judy Buchanan, National Writing Project
- Christina Cantrill, National Writing Project
- Cris Constantine, NPS Northeast Regional Office
- Susan Cook, Homestead National Monument
- Kevin Hodgson, Western Massachusetts Writing Project
- Kristin Lessard, Weir Farm National Historic Site
- Dorothy Luongo, Hudson Valley Writing Project
- Vicki McQuitty, Maryland Writing Project
- Bethany Silva, University of New Hampshire /Philadelphia Writing Project