- Special FX Camp (ages 12-16). Suggested donation: $150. June 23-27, and students must be available from 2pm to 7pm Thursday, July 10, to help with theatre production. Prosthetic application, stage makeup, fabrication and more!
- 2 Week Theatre Camp (Ages 9-16). Suggested donation: $250. Casting calls will be June 22 and 29 from 2:30-4pm. Camp will be June 30—July 10. Stage production of Elyon the Brave: A Forest Fantasy will be July 10 from 6-7pm in the beautiful Main Street Events Theatre in Rowlett. Bring family and friends!
- Robotics Camp (Ages 8-12). Suggested donation: $200. August 8-11. Build robots using Lego Mindstorms EV3! Trip to UT Arlington’s Research Institute included—see the future in Robotics education!
I’ve noticed the best way to become an incredible writer is to read incredible writers! Some of my favorite books for kids are the following:
•The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
•The Giver by Lois Lowry
•Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
•The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
•The Maze Runner by James Dashner
•The Call of the Wild by Jack London
These, of course, are just to name a few. The best way to really absorb the writing style of good writers is to hear their stories. Read them out loud–It’s a great family activity to share together–or download the audiobook version and listen to someone else read it. As you hear it, listen to the sentence structure, the metaphors and similes used and absorb the pacing of the book. Learn what good writing is, and learn to copy their finer qualities in your own writing.
Which books would you add to this list? What makes them so amazing?
Before you start writing, grab a binder where you can keep all your awesome ideas. Above all, BE ORGANIZED!
Be sure to read good books! Make sure they are excellent examples of good writing. Find books with great pictures, too!
Choose an Interesting Topic
First, write down your interests and hobbies. No on wants to spend time writing a story about something that bores them. Jotting down at least five or six things that you enjoy doing will help narrow down the field of potential subjects. Some ideas:
- Things you like to do
- Things you like to read about
- People that interest you
- Interesting places you’ve visited
I had one student, Kendall, come to me excited about writing a story. She relayed to me the plot, details of the characters, and an interesting setting and that night, she started typing. A few days later, she showed me what she had accomplished. The story pulsed with life; the characters were engaging, and the first chapter had incredible potential. Unfortunately, after a few short weeks, Kendall’s initial enthusiasm waned.
“What happened to the book you started?” I asked her.
“Lost interest,” she said.
“Why don’t you just put something down on paper,” I said. “You can always go back and change it.”
“No. I don’t know how to finish it,” she said, with a look that said, don’t broach the topic again.
How does one finish a book? This book is written for all of those who start enthusiastically but find they need a little encouragement in order to complete the project.
This past year, I led a summer camp entitled, How to Write and Illustrate a Book. With the methods presented in this book, I helped students develop a plot, do some research, write their story, and illustrate their book in a three-hour-a-day, two week camp. (All that work was interspersed with games, snacks, and plenty of giggles.) The point is; this is doable! It’s work, but it pays off with an incredible result: a book that you can show to others with pride as your very own work.
The methodology presented in this blog series is recommended for grades two and above. Even high school aged students (and adults) can follow this instructional material with positive results.
What is your experience with writing and illustrating? Tell me in a comment below!
The artwork, A Girl Writing, is by Henriette BrownRead More
It’s so much fun to pick a character’s name! It helps to think about what that character looks like. What is the time period in which your story occurs? Keep the name consistent with the setting. Look up boy/girl names on Google. Is there a particular name that jumps out at you? Make a list with several possibilities.
Rhyme your character’s name with an object or concept that you would like people to associate with your character’s personality. For instance, J.K. Rowling created an interesting name by changing a single letter of the word ‘snake’, which conjures up all kinds of imagery, to ‘Snape.’
A fun heroine like ‘Sunny Loveluck’ might be interesting to work into a story. Can you picture her shiny hair and glimmering smile? But, you may not want to make it quite so obvious. Look up Latin meanings of words and try incorporating Latin into your names. For instance, ‘wrath’ in Latin is ‘Ira’. ‘Ira Gunning’ might be a good choice for a character who struggles with anger.
Make sure you check the meanings of the names you choose. If you named your indecisive main character ‘Peter’, you may want to think about changing it after discovering the meaning of Peter is ‘rock’.
Above all, be playful! Name choosing should be a delight, not a chore.
Time to get the kindle app (free from Amazon!) for your computer, Ipad, or other portable device and download my book, Promise of a Better Day. The writer/illustrator in your family will be thrilled! This is their opportunity to read, write, illustrate, win prizes, see their writing in an online community, and grow in the literary community.
Here is a description of the book:
Kate’s father dies at sea, leaving his family alone and penniless in England. When her mother contracts a deadly disease, Kate’s family, including little Sarah, must go to the Bristol poorhouse.
After her mother passes away, Kate is left alone in a world of heartless adults who continuously find her guilty of crimes she didn’t commit. While Kate’s best friends, Emma and Tilly, make life in the poorhouse bearable, Kate longs for something more. She begs Aunt Mary to help her and Sarah gain entrance into Muller’s Orphanage in Bristol. Will Aunt Mary lend a helping hand? Or will the poorhouse schoolmistress find a way to prevent all her dreams from coming true?
At the end of each chapter are prompts that encourage young writers and illustrators to begin their own literary and artistic adventures.
This book is to be used in conjunction with ReadWriteandDraw.com, a free website dedicated to helping young writers and illustrators hone their abilities in an exciting online community.
Guess what? If you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow the book for FREE!
Check it out right here