Write Out Week One: Discovering Stories, October 13-19, 2019
Welcome to Write Out 2019
Discovering Stories is a guiding theme for this first week’s cycle of place-based activities. Look up, look out, look around. What do you notice that you haven’t seen before, or in a while? Where might you look? Online, in books and magazines, or in your local (or national) park, what might you see? Hidden stories, stories lost in time, stories in your own imagination. Get up, go out, and write about it—#WriteOut!
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.” Additionally, some parks or Writing Project sites are hosting in-person events. Tuesday October 15 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET—Video Hangout We will be joined by guest writer Catherine Stier, author of If I Were a Park Ranger, as we discover stories of place. Use this link to join (and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you run into issues). Thursday October 17 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET —Twitter Chat Join the conversation by simply going to Twitter and using the hashtag #WriteOut. Guided questions will focus on surfacing untold stories. Attend a Write Out Meet-Up, or consider hosting your own! Join the National Park Service and the National Writing Project in person for Write Out events in your area. Check this list to see what’s happening across the country from October 13–27.
Suggested Self-Guided Activities
Whether you have a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days to participate in Write Out, we hope you are inspired to create, have fun, and connect with new colleagues through a variety of experiences. Here are some suggested possibilities for participating this week grouped around the ideas of Explore, Create, and Connect. Choose your own adventure, and have fun with these!
- Sneak a peek at the National Park Service site webcams.
- Investigate Google Art and Culture: The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks virtual exploration sites. Watch the promotional video and find out about Google cardboard (you can make your own).
- Find a National Park (#findapark) and explore the park’s online resources, or go visit in person.
- Dive into the diverse stories of America’s National Parks and envision ways to incorporate these themes into your programs or lesson plans:
- Conduct Field Journaling with students, as Connecticut Writing Project teacher-leader Rich Novak demonstrates.
- Join Rich and others in annotating online a related article: “A Place for Local in Critical Global Literacies” by Amy Price Azano, from English Journal.
- Use Write Out as an opportunity to cajole your writing self into new terrain. Perhaps that manifests itself as a song, a piece of flash fiction, something untraditional, or just a genre you always thought you’d get to but never did. Now’s your chance. Explore yourself as a writer.
- Plan a writing-outside activity for your students or your park. Add your event to the master list of Write Out live gatherings.
- Choose an Activity Quest for discovering and exploring public spaces.
- Think like a Scientist: Discover Your Park with our colleagues from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Pocono Writing Project.
- Invite youth (13+) to create a Places We Love: Photo and Places We Love: Poem via LRNG and Youth Voices. New York City Writing Project teacher-leader Paul Allison shares more here.
- Research Historical Markers in your community—add to the database if the markers are not already there.
- Join in the Write Out Collaborative Where We’re From Poem. Add your line or lines to the crowd-sourced poetry project!
- Create a Stone Alphabet with this field guide to reading the stones of a city, shared by Sarah Mulhorn Gross.
- Share Your Park’s Stories and Images (National Park Foundation).
- Check out the Write Out Tumblr and add your own.
- Use the Write Out Flipgrid to leave a video reflection.
- Post some media and/or writing to the Write Out Padlet digital wall.
- Join the Write Out Facebook Group.
- Connect your writing out to National Day on Writing and #whyiwrite.
- Check out this spectrum of sharing:
Good luck with your journeys and discoveries, and enjoy celebrating the National Day on Writing! — The Write Out Team