Reflections and Connections | Mapping Possibilities, Week 1

WriteOut 2018-07-22

Huzzah! We’ve arrived near the end of week one of #WriteOut with a stronger sense of place, curiosity, and connection to each other as we’ve all embarked on mapping possibilities! And we’ve only just begun – we have another week of exploring our connections across the National Writing Project and National Park Service during cycle two (due to begin Sunday) … so stay tuned and curious!

In looking back over the past few days we notice the ways we have been making introductions, locating ourselves in physical and digital spaces, and opening doors to the park and the classroom. This week’s theme of Mapping Possibilities allowed each of us to raise our flag and declare “I’m interested in connecting to place-based learning! There’s value in taking learning outside of the classroom and in bring parks into classrooms! Let’s explore the possibilities together!” And together we certainly did….!

Below are some highlights. As well as information about a new opportunity to submit for the Write Out We Make the Road by Walking badge and playlist.

Read on.


Good job geolocating yourself, everyone. Here’s a quick view into some of the ways people located and shared their location with us.

Rich Novak tagged the map at Quarts Rock, Orange CT with three different 360 representations of this space during three different times of this past year: July 2018, December 2017, April 2017.

Jen Dumont and her son William spent World Listening Day hiking up to the top of Bald Knob in Moultonboro, NH and shared their photos and poetry in the G+ Community.

Chris Mazura and his children have also been exploring, writing and sharing with #writeout throughout the week on Twitter.

This is one way we write. Impermanence. #writeout

— Christopher Mazura (@ChrisMazura) July 16, 2018

We have also noticed writing project youth camps participating in #writeout, from California to Massachusetts.

More exploratory @SCWRiP #Writeout adventures as YWC writers explored UCSB’s lagoon, beach, and walked the labyrinth. Now our young writers are working on creating their digital tours, flora & fauna guides, travel postcards & posters, & place based legends!

— Daryl Myers (@mistermyersw4l) July 18, 2018

Teachers joined urban middle school student campers for a Civil War Re-enactment activity (before doing some writing with primary source documents) at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. #writeout #findyourpark

— KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) July 16, 2018

At Young Writers Camp we write about ourselves, we write about people and places in our lives, and we write about the world! @SanDiegoAreaWP @CWP @CajonValleyUSD #YWC2018 #YoungWriters

— Christine Sphar (@ChristineSphar) July 20, 2018

A set of resources from the National Park Service were gathered and posted by Cris Constantine at the NPS Northeast Regional Office, including the NPS Educator Portal. Check out all that is here and find more here.

Kristin Lessard, Park Ranger from Weir Farm, also put together a map using her favorite technology (Post-its!) showing NWP/NPS partnerships across the country.

Read more about that partnership work here.

Local teachers have also been gathering, writing and making maps together. Here is a 3D map created at a gathering at the University of New Hampshire Community Literacy Center organized by Bethany Silva.

You’re looking over a cliff at some sea serpents and ruins, as constructed by @aleciamarie at the #LiteracyNH Mapping Party this morning. #WriteOut #NHEd Had so much fun making maps with you!

— UNH LitCenter (@LiteracyNH) July 16, 2018

Andrea Zellner organized a local writing retreat in Michigan. She also created a fabulous Write Out Writing Marathon handout to be shared around.

My current #writeout writing spot. ❤

— Dr. Andrea Zellner (@AndreaZellner) July 19, 2018

Teachers of the North Star of Texas had a one-day retreat that they share via #writeout.

#Writeout North Star Of Texas Writing Project utilizing a One Day Writing Retreat at “The Farm” in the LBJ Grasslands in Wise County. Beautiful words created by some beautiful people. Thank you.@whitlawrence10 @CarolWickstrom @mason_carman @JustJoan08

— Rhonda Lemieux (@MrsRLemieux) July 19, 2018

And educators connected to the #clmooc community have also been sharing their maps and doodles over the last week too.

20. Before they could check out the abandoned picnic, a thunderous roar filled their ears. The river! They peered over the cliff to the rushing waters below. This couldn’t be a coincidence. “Should we follow the river?” Kura-Kura asked her companion. #clmooc #writeout

— Moshie🐝 (@EatcherVeggies) July 20, 2018

During the #Write Out twitter chat on Thursday, we started conversations about how to connect as well as why. We also talked about how sometimes, in focusing on a celebration of place, place-based learning can ignore or mask the ways that different groups are excluded from or pushed out of places. Our chat host, Bethany Silva, asks us to reflect on how our work can attend to these issues and community and resources like Outdoor Afro, Youth Participatory Action Research Hub (YPAR) and National Park resources like Telling All Americans’ Stories were shared.

Read the archive and continue these critical conversations.

Prompted by the Map with Me broadcast on Tuesday, Sheri Edwards in Washington mapped an organization she is a part of in her rural community — her local public library.

And emerging from broadcast, Kevin Hodgson and Andrea Zellner connected #writeout energy to start a Map Song Playlist that we can all continue to add to.

A #writeout activity (if interested): Add songs about maps/atlas to the YouTube Map Playlist (it should be open for anyone to contribute right now) (if you have trouble, just share here and tag me and I will add it) @andreazellner

— KevinHodgson (@dogtrax) July 18, 2018

See the archive here:

Map with Me: Introduction to Write Out and Mapping Possibilities

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 platform and is available now through the end of December 2018.

In connected learning solidarity,

The Write Out Team

Additional image credits:

  • Hero image from Project Write, a partnership of the Philadelphia Writing Project and Independence National Historical Park.
  • We Make the Road by Walking image from Coureagous Writers, a partnership of the Hudson Valley Writing Project and Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites