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Posts Tagged ‘stories’

Where Writing Can Take You This Summer

"Tell Your Story." Photo Credit: Damian Gadal / Foter / CC BY

“Tell Your Story.” Photo Credit: Damian Gadal / Foter / CC BY

Creative writing, poetry, fiction, short stories and so many other types of expressive writing are sometimes taken for granted in school when rigid educational standards and testing are prioritized. Writing, however, is a skill that goes hand in hand with reading and literacy and should be practiced in all forms including creative ones. Crafting a story from the imagination is a talent that cultivates creative thinking and should be encouraged. Whether you’re just starting to write, college-bound, working or interested in taking a writing class, opportunities are endless. You may be surprised at how many doors will open when you know how to craft stories and poetry. This summer, challenge yourself to start writing and see where it can take you. As Dr. Seuss wrote, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Here are five wonderful places where writing can take you this summer:

1. Writing poetry can lead you to compete:

If you have an interest in writing poetry, there are contests and competitions you may want to check out. Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card Contest is one in particular that awards you and doesn’t require an entry fee. The contest is held bi-annually and you can enter as many times as you wish. Non-rhyming verse is preferred.

2. Writing can encourage you to craft your talent:

Sometimes writing camps are good options for young writers who want to attend a program over the summer. You meet other like-minded writers and get to have your work critiqued. One such program offered by the Emerging Writers Institute allows 10th-12th graders to craft works of poetry, fiction, plays and more under the guidance of talented instructors. This particular program is housed in residence at top universities and dates are available in 2-week time-frames throughout the summer.

3. Writing can inspire you to visit the local library:

Believe it or not, your library does offer writing workshops and classes over the summer. Chances are it also offers these services year-round. Check with your local librarian to find out what writing classes and events are being offered in your hometown. Once you start writing, you may visit the library more often to find new books to inform your writing. Also check out National Novel Writing Month in November and see what you can do to prepare for it this summer.

4. Writing can take you on a travel adventure:

Sometime in the course of your education, you may get an opportunity to study abroad. Writers have many options available to them to do this. One program to consider is the Prague Summer Program for Writers which now operates as an independent entity. Being able to apply directly removes the obstacle of being enrolled at a specific university. If this program isn’t right for you, there are lots of others. Beginning a writing journey this summer can prepare you for a study abroad adventure next summer!

5. Writing can teach you about yourself:

The terms “writer” and “introvert” are often associated together. This does not mean every writer is an introvert or every introverted person is automatically a writer. The association comes from society’s idea that if you write, you are more attuned with your inner self and thus able to channel that better with words. I have learned that writing can teach you a lot about yourself and your inner voice. The more you write, the better you become at listening to what it’s trying to tell you. Let your words be your guide and you will always find your way. The New York Times op-ed “Writing My Way to a New Self” by Hana Schank provides a firsthand account of how this sentiment is illustrated by writing.

Where is writing leading you? Let us know in the comments section or Tweet us at #ProQuest!

Read-Aloud Plays for Teachers and Students

Many elementary school classes like to perform short plays. It helps the students with their reading skills, memorization, public speaking, and more. My daughter’s third-grade class performed a short play for some of the students this year! They performed a Native American play called “The Strongest One.” It was great to see all of the students working together during the performance and having a great time too. They even asked questions to the audience afterwards about the message behind the play–how all things are connected within our environment.

"The Strongest One" Play Performed by Third-Grade Students

“The Strongest One” Play Performed by Third-Grade Students
Image by Jennifer Oms

A great place for teachers to find read-aloud plays for elementary school students is in SIRS Discoverer! You can find a great collection of plays for many different reading levels. From historical fiction to mysteries to fantasies and more. Here are some examples:

The Ballad of John Henry Storyworks

The Case of the Gooey Chocolate SuperScience

The Spiderwick Chronicles Storyworks

And from SIRS Discoverer WebFind, here is a resource for more children’s plays:

ZOOM Playhouse: Act Up and Put On a Play PBS

SIRS Discoverer also has a great collection of fictional read-aloud stories for children such as:

Hannah and the Birdman Storyworks

The Day That Lasted All Night Click

For all our your researching needs, turn to SIRS Discoverer.