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School is Out: Stay in the FLOW

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

Yesterday morning, as I was creating online content for my college students who will be learning remotely for the rest of the semester, I looked out at the grey sky and couldn’t shake the feeling that our school district would likely be announcing closures. Last night we learned that beginning today the kids will be home for an extended spring break: yikes...yay...oh boy?!

Many kids seem to be vacillating between feeling excited, scared, and disappointed about cancelled activities and trips. I imagine that eventually these feelings will settle and boredom will take hold, and I will need to have some activities ready for my kids. One of the goals of FLOW is to help spark a love for writing, and I hope the activities I will be posting over the next couple of weeks will achieve that. If you need more direction on any of these activities, please send me a message.

Writing Activities Day 1: Virtual Vacation

Many families have had to cancel their travel plans for spring break. Although there is no match for experiencing a new place with your family, writing and reading are great ways to simulate some of the novelty of travel: seeing new places, meeting new people, and getting new perspectives. Today's post offers some ideas for taking kids on a virtual vacation.

For some of these activities, and many of the activities I will be sharing in the coming days, I

would recommend letting kids create their own notebook. If you have an unused notebook around, have your kids use markers or stickers to personalize it to give them a connection to their work. If you don’t have any notebooks, they could staple pages together to create a notebook, or use a hole puncher and ribbon or yarn to design a book.

1. Have kids research a place they wish they could go and then have them design a postcard from that place. Once they have finished the design, have them write it to someone with details about their trip. Kiddos can do this each day from a new site or place. It could be fun to do this electronically too and have kids share their postcards with their friends and family.

2. Ask kids to write a story that is set in the place you were planning to travel. Have them include the sights, smells, and sounds of the place. They could do some online research about the place to help them come up with ideas. Remind your young author that every story must have a conflict, climax, and resolution.

3. Find an image of a place you were planning to go and write a poem about the place. For example, below is an image selected by a young poet in a FLOW workshop and the poem she composed:

Machu Pichu

Everlasting ruin among the clouds

Abandoned city obscure yet

So simple a memory

Built stone by stone

The city of the Incas

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