While teaching a Young Writers Workshop recently, I shared the wonders of Wordles with the class. These graphic and colorful word clouds are a great addition to a blog or web site (and they’re lots of fun to make!). The students had a great time illustrating their favorite topic or sharing keywords about themselves. Here’s one that I made to demonstrate:
The 2014 Young Writers Workshop, sponsored by the Branson Arts Council, was held at the Ozarks Technical Community College computer lab. Our theme for the week was Introduction to Blogging & Online Writing. I kept a blog for the workshop, found HERE, that has complete details on our activities, including directions and links to help you start your own blog and take part in some of the fun online writing activities available.
Day One started with a delicious writing prompt…choose a candy bar from the bag and freewrite using the title of your candy bar. We practiced blogging on paper, designing headers, sidebars, and sample posts, then traded papers and “commented” using sticky notes.
Day Two began with a quick writing exercise using Fractured Fairy Tales. You can see some sample student work on the Workshop site, too. The afternoon continued with a visit from author BK Bradshaw, who spoke about her writing process and assisted students in workshopping some recent drafts.
Day Three had us working hard to make our blogs look good, learning about widgets, sidebars, posting, and commenting. Then we explored some aspects of writing poetry online, using some generator sites like this one for Acrostic Poems and this one for Theme Poems. A favorite student poem was JOURNEY by Victoria.
JOURNEY by Victoria
J oyous adventures await
O fficial start of something new
U nforgettable memories
R eady to explore
N ever ending possibilities
E nriching for the mind
Y outhful souls
Day Four had us jumping into images and photos in blog posts. Students learned to upload their own files into their media library, insert images from other URL addresses, and create a Wordle (word cloud) using keywords in a topic. Here’s a Wordle from Kendra:
Of course, no discussion would be complete without talking about copyright and permission issues. We learned what is and is not acceptable to use on the internet, and utilized some of the following links to find images, audio, and video files in the Public Domain.
Public Domain / Creative Commons Sources
She faced the long line of empty booths, hoping he would spring up from one of them, but knowing he would not. He had stayed on the shores behind her, buried with his fists and the peat and the emerald rain of the country he loved.
Gazing through the ferry windows at her new home, she wondered if she would make friends, or even meet a special man to bring into her life. She wondered if she would tell him how her first love died.
Today’s flash fiction is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, with photo prompt by Ted Strutz. This picture reminded me of the journey via ferry between Holyhead and Ireland. Although my voyage was a happy one, complete with impromptu Irish band, once night fell it was easy to get the lonesome feel of an empty ship.
The Friday Fictioneers strive to produce a 100-word story each week, and you can read more of them right HERE.