Week 2 of Write Out: Mapping Connections

WriteOut 2018-08-02

Welcome to the second activity cycle of Write Out 2018!

Write Out is an online opportunity with activities and collaborative spaces for teachers, park rangers, and writers to connect. It is being sponsored by the National Writing Project through a partnership with the National Park Service. Last week, Write Out kicked off with a Mapping Possibilities activity cycle which prompted an array of creative making, connecting, and collaborating. So, who’s ready for week two?!

The theme for this week is Mapping Connections, and it will provide an opportunity to delve a little deeper, to move from the local maps and beginnings into a broader look at themes and potential connections with other sites and colleagues. Activities include writing, making, mapping, live online sessions, Twitter chats, and more.

Here are some fun resources from week one to inspire your creativity for activity cycle 2: Mapping Connections!

  • Did you miss the “Map with Me” broadcast? Want to watch it again and again? View it here, and find it on writeout.nwp.org with other info and content related to Write Out.
  • Check out maps and resources shared by your colleagues by joining our G+ community and browsing the site. All participants are encouraged to keep adding more examples through week two of Write Out.
  • The mapping theme sparked the idea that we need a playlist with songs related to maps! We started a Playlist of Write Out Map Songs with some tunes to keep you motivated as you map connections this week and beyond.

Kevin Hodgson is geeking out on a resources of soundscapes of National Parks. Read more.

Scheduled Events

While there are many self-directed activities, suggested below, there are also a few online activities scheduled during each week that provide an opportunity to virtually connect, live and “in person.”

Visit the Connect/Share page at writeout.nwp.org to learn more.

Coming up this week: * Tuesday, July 24, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm EST— Connect With Me Activity and Broadcast via Google Hangout * Thursday, July 26, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm EST—Twitter Chat using the hashtag #WriteOut

Sheri Edwards map of her rural public library. Read more.

Travel Itinerary Navigation

Last week we began our Write Out journey together and mapped possibilities by exploring local spaces and ideas. The theme for week two, Mapping Connections, expands on our understanding of place and the possibilities and encourages us to venture into new terrain.

Some key themes that resonate with both National Writing Project and National Park Service emerged during week one, including place-based education, civic engagement, youth leadership, ecological justice, democracy, civil/human rights, told and untold stories, digital literacy, hearing youth voices, access and mobility, inquiry, argument writing, professional learning, reflection, and cross-disciplinary connections.

This week we challenge you to think about one or more cross-cutting themes and how they connect with your approach as a 21st century educator. We encourage you to explore others’ maps and potentially begin work on a new lesson plan or collaborative project. The possibilities and connections are endless!

So whether you have a few minutes to “wander,” a few hours to “trek,” or a day or two to “camp overnight,” we hope you are inspired to create, have fun, and connect with new colleagues. See some suggestions below.


  • Visit someone else’s geolocation and learn something about a place new-to-you. Then connect/share that new thing with Write Out!
  • Write a postcard to a National Writing Project or National Park Service colleague at another site that you “met” during week one of Write Out.
  • Do a 10 minute write: 5 minutes on what you learned week one, 5 minutes on what more you want to know. Connect and share.
  • Invite a friend or colleague to join week 2 of Write Out (it’s never too late).
  • Find parks or writing project sites close to you. If you have a few extra minutes find out who the contact person there is and reach out.


  • Explore examples of work from week one shared in the G+ Community or via Twitter at #WriteOut. Identify themes and then create something that shows how you might connect or weave those themes together. You could map National Park Service or National Writing Project sites with stories or themes or create a theme map including the entire country.
  • Compare and contrast lesson plans and other ways you bring the themes of Write Out into your classroom and/or parks. Where do you see potential connections and possibilities? Connect and share some ideas.
  • Create a concept quilt linking to themes that emerged during week one. Find inspiration from the quilt created through the Western Massachusetts Writing Project partnership with Springfield Armory in Massachusetts.
  • Curate a photo collage on Flickr and share it with the Write Out Community! Take a look at the photo collage example from Philadelphia’s NWP/NPS partnership called Project Write.
  • Respond to young writers via the Project Write blog that goes live July 25th!
  • Create a google 360 map and engage your students or colleagues in place-based map making! Have everyone attache a 360 photo, writing piece, visual art piece, or lesson plan idea! Check out this example from the NWP/NPS partnership in Connecticut called Reading Landscapes: Nature Writing in the 21st Century.


  • Organize a local Write Out event, meet-up, or walkabout. We love this example of how to organize for #writeout locally. Learn more about the “writing marathon” design concept here.
  • Play our We Make the Road by Walking Playlist and earn a badge for your work via Write Out.
  • Map the Way Forward! Set up a meeting with a new partner site and come up with goals and vision for working together or even write up a work plan.
  • Create a map with embedded journal entry writing about experiences in parks and spaces. Here’s some map-spiration to get you started.
  • Write a draft lesson plan or program outline with youth and/or colleagues that surfaces untold or less familiar stories.


There is many ways to connect here at Write Out.

Join the G+ community and share your maps, writings, and other content! Make sure you check out what others are adding as well. Geolocate yourself and places of interest to you on our Map, and add some related media so we know more about that place/space. Tweet out the things you post and add #writeout so we can see it as part of the larger twitter feed.

Learn how ›


If you haven’t found what you need already, we have gathered some map-spirations, a set of place-based learning and writing resources, as well as National Park Service resources.

Find more ›

Play a Playlist and Earn a Badge for Write Out

Write Out is designed as an open opportunity to explore writing, learning and connecting. We value connectedness in our work and encourage you to think about the process rather than the product. However, we also know that you may want to share what you did with others beyond this opportunity — as a way to create a portfolio of your work, demonstrate your contributions and participation, and/or as a way to seek a credential for work completed. This is a valuable way of celebrating your journey too.

The Write Out leadership team has created a playlist, with an associated badge, that you can earn in connection with this year’s event. This playlist asks you to complete a set of #writeout activities (known in the playlist as as “XPs”) and then synthesize and extend your Write Out work by reflecting on your work and making commitments for blazing a new trail.

We Make the Road by Walking is developed within the LRNG.org platform and is available now through the end of December 2018.

And a little inspiration for the week from young poets in New York:

Good luck with your journeys and looking forward to connecting!

In solidarity,

The Write Out Team

Images credits