Summer Writing Camp (WriteNow!)
Every year we have summer writing camps featuring Write Now!® writing courses designed to improve students’ skills in formal, informal, and creative writing. “Expository writing” addresses the types of writing done in school: news reports, letters, memos, pop quizzes, book reports, movie reviews, blogs, essays, and research reports. In addition, it includes the four major writing tests that are given to California students (“narrative,” “summary,” “response to literature,” and “persuasive”). Creative writing encourages self expression and, in general, encompasses the major creative forms: stories, poems, and plays. “Presentation Techniques” focuses on the development of public speaking skills, with a three-year cycle that includes three topics: presentation tools (“Posters and PowerPoints”), “Debate Skills,” and “Persuasion.”
The program is offered in two formats:
The goals of both formats is the same: (1) to help students acquire excellent writing skills and (2) to encourage a love of writing in students. To facilitate the second goal, it is important that writing not be viewed as a painful chore; the vast majority of students tell us that they enjoy the classes and would recommend that their friends take them.
The writing courses begin with a review of sentence structure to verify that the students’ most basic skills are in place. We then move to the building blocks of all good writing: paragraphs. Using WriteNow!®’s copyrighted templates, students practice writing several different kinds of paragraphs: the classic five-sentence paragraph with a topic sentence, three supporting sentences, and a summary concluding sentence; variations on the classic that include both supporting and countering points; bullet-point paragraphs; and both introductory and concluding paragraphs. The third step is to proceed from writing strong paragraphs to combining them into outstanding essays and other literary forms.
All teachers are experienced Emerson Montessori staff members. Materials and exercises are designed and prepared by Charles D. Bernstein, Ph.D., executive director of the writing program and president of Early Learning Institute.