The good folks at Missoula Writing Collaborative (MWC) in Montana know all about Cabin Fever. That’s why when Covid-19 forced families to stay at home, MWC quickly put together their Cabin Fever Survival Guide. Written for both parents and kids, this handy e-book will help you be productive and write, even on the most stir-crazy of homeschool days. Young writers can even submit their polished work to be aired on the radio or published! You can check out MWC’s extensive Digital Poetry Resources on their website too. These easy to use lessons prove once and for all, poetry really is for everyone.
Online Prompts and Publication for Young Writers
California Poets in the Schools is providing a great resource for families homeschooling during the Pandemic. Their online poetry workshops are easy to use and beautiful as well. Once students complete their poem, they can submit it for publication on the California Poets website. The opportunity to become a published poet is exciting!
There are over 30 workshops already and new ones are being added each week. These exercises make writing easy and fun. And the slideshow format means that students can work at their own pace. California Poets in the Schools is providing an amazing opportunity for students feeling trapped by the Covid-19 quarantine.
Writing at the Kitchen Table
Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York City is serving the educational needs of families “sheltered in place” with a new initiative called Writing Our Way Through. These are no-nonsense writing activities to help all the home-schooling families during the pandemic. As Matthew Burgess explains, you “do not need to identify as a writer or a teacher in order to make this happen. We are writing these lessons with the kitchen table in mind, or a circle on the carpet with notebooks. In most cases, the only materials you will need are sheets of paper and pencils or pens.”
These lessons capture the pure joy of writing and can be used with all ages. Start with Spring Poems” with E.E. CummingsorOde to Animals and remember that whatever you write, it’s right!
Bechtel Prize 2020 – Submit by 1/31/20
Teaching Artists can enter to win a $1,000 prize from Teachers & Writers Collaborative. The format is different this year:
” this year’s prize will be awarded to a classroom teacher or teaching artist for an innovative classroom project that supports student development as creative writers and thinkers. We are looking for projects that get students excited about writing, seek to educate the imagination, and promote a vibrant and dynamic culture of literacy in the classroom. The project should be one that you plan to complete in the next calendar year (eg. in 2020).”
There is no fee to enter, but you must submit your project proposal by Jan. 31st, 2020. For more information, visit the TWC website.
NYC Summer Institute for Teaching Artists
|July 17-19, 2019|
WITS Alliance Member Organization Community Word Project will offer a
Summer Institute for Advanced Teaching Artists in New York, NY
Application Deadline: June 15, 2019
Scholarship Assistance Available
Summer Institute is a three-day intensive for Creative Writers, Visual and Multi-Media
Artists, Musicians, Dancers, and Theater Artists with 2+ years experience teaching.
- Deepen your teaching with experiential, inquiry and reflection processes
- Connect with Teaching Artists from around the country
- Expand your impact teaching for social justice
- Explore creative processes and critical thinking
- Investigate techniques for project-based arts integration
- Build new strategies for creating a positive classroom culture
CREATIVITY FOR CHANGE ~ CalPoets’ 2019 Symposium with Juan Felipe Herrera
For 55 years, WITS Alliance Member Program California Poets in the Schools has brought the powerful magic of poetry creation and performance to over one million students. Our work is more important than ever! Studies show that student involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, greater involvement in community service and lower dropout rates. Creativity is the #1 desired skill in today’s job market. Poetry instruction builds empathy and a sense of belonging in the classroom setting. Poetry and the arts can be a powerful, healing tool for schools and communities recovering from natural disasters and other traumas such as gun violence.
California Poets in the Schools will offer a weekend conference is open to the public and geared towards literary teaching artists, literary arts organizational staff, classroom educators, poets, MFA candidates and more. Content will be engaging for those brand new to teaching the literary arts and to “old hats.” Juan Felipe Herrera will be the special guest!
At this Symposium, workshops will be geared towards the theme of Creativity for Change. How can poetry in the classroom be a transformational tool for positive change? How can our lesson plans respond swiftly with resilience and flexibility to the most pressing issues of our time? How do we need to change and grow ourselves in order to best serve our communities? We will learn from experts in our midst and pool our best practices for a weekend of learning, networking, community-building, poetry readings and some good old-fashioned fun.
Click to learn more and to register: https://www.californiapoets.org/events/creativity-for-change-calpoets-2019-statewide-symposium-with-juan-felipe-herrera
49 Mission Vineyard Rd, 49 Mission Vineyard Rd, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045, USA
Aug 02, 2:00 PM – Aug 04, 12:00 PM
Writers Find New Ways of Seeing the World
Check out this essay by Peter Markus, THROUGH THE EYE OF A FEATHER: HELPING STUDENTS SLOW DOWN, PAY ATTENTION, AND SEE ANEW, published in Teachers & Writers Magazine.
The essay provides a procedural teaching methodology by one of the great WITS masters. Pete works with InsideOut Literary Arts in Detroit, and his most recent book is Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in Detroit Public Schools (Dzanc, 2017). Here is one student poem that came out of this lesson.
Through the Eye of the Feather
I can see my dead uncle.
I can hear a pencil writing.
I believe I will heal and walk.
I can touch my future self.
When the feather speaks it says
get out of bed.
When the feather sings it brings
joy into my life.
Terry Blackhawk Honored for Education Activism in Detroit
On August 24th, InsideOut Literary Arts Project will honor founder Terry Blackhawk for her visionary work in Detroit Public Schools. This fundraising event, Share the Light, will support education programs serving thousands of inner city students. The gala will take place at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, a masterpiece of world-renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki. The evening will feature live performances by InsideOut students and alum. Supporters can attend the event and/or purchase pages in a tribute book to honor Dr. Blackhawk. For more information, click here.
Summer Institute for Teaching Artists
Poet Ross Gay Visits Young Arizona Writers
The University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Writing the Community program recently hosted National Book Critics Circle Award Winner Ross Gay at Borton Magnet School. Read more about this interdisciplinary project, which combines poetry, gardening, food, and political advocacy, here.
WITS Portland Expands to Underserved Schools
WITS Alliance member, Literary Arts, in Portland, Oregon, has expanded residencies to the schools in East County, serving students who have historically been underserved.
Gresham High School participated with a full slate of WITS youth programming during the 15-16 school year, including slams, author visits, creative writing residencies, and lectures. Read more about this incredible project >>
Teach It to the Moon and Back
Peter Markus, senior writer with WITS Alliance member organization, InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit, has a featured lesson plan in this month’s Teachers & Writers Magazine.
Markus (aka Mr. Pete) engages his students in conversation and asks the class to rethink what they know about the moon. Together they dig into their imaginations and create metaphors for the moon. “What I love about bringing the moon into the classroom is that it’s a universal object. A little girl in Manhattan—Kansas or New York—or an old man in Kenya, a mother in Missoula, each of these people has equal access to a shared sky, a sky that has up in it a communal light—a light that is sometimes a circle cut in half, a light that is at other times a hammock hung between stars—a light, in short, that all eyes can see in new, never-before ways.”