Studio to School

Fishtrap Story Lab – November 2014 E-Journal

As Oregon Poet, Digital Storyteller, and professor Kim Stafford is quoted as saying:

“A vision without execution is just a hallucination.”photo

After two months of in-class generative writing with Joseph Charter School’s K-8th grade students, a filing cabinet in the Fishtrap Story Lab sits full of portfolios of student work. Students call out from the hallways to say hello. I-Pads are on order. Positive relationships have been built with each teacher. Each classroom’s distinct feel, challenges, and accomplishments acknowledged. A fire has been lit; everyone is a writer.

After two years working in Chiloquin High School as a writer-in-residence through Chiloquin Visions in Progress and two working for Fishtrap as Wallowa county’s writer-in-residence I wasn’t expecting many 03311200new surprises this fall while working closely with Joseph’s K-8. But surprises are inevitable.

The amount of dynamism it takes to teach kindergarten one class period then 8th grade the next has kept me on my toes these past months and made me reflect a lot on student learning/development. The care and respect for each classroom’s culture, and figuring out ways to collaborate with teachers on how best to serve challenging students has reminded me how important relationships are.

Perhaps the most fun surprise of the past two months was teaching a two day (half day each day) fly  tying and digital storytelling workshop/experiment.IMG_0090

With great administrative support and mentorship from Mike Midlo at Fishtrap, and incredible accessibility and dialogue with Liza Butts and all of the teachers at Joseph, these first steps for Fishtrap Story Lab have been well spent setting IMG_0086up a foundation of writing and generating that will lead into the Lab this January and February as Liza and I co-teach Joseph Charter School’s first ever digital storytelling class, and in March when the Lab opens up to the K-6th.

I’m looking forward this December to receive invaluable training from Shelley Toon Lindberg and Katie Basil, and to continue delving into what Digital Storytelling has been across the educational and cyber landscapes, and to intuitively figure out what might work best and be most powerful in serving Wallowa County’s youth.

Cameron Scott
Fishtrap Story Lab

Writing Prompt Examples from Cam Scott’s Fishtrap Story Lab

Prompt: Imagination

Read a poem from the perspective of an animal

If/when students identify “persona,” have them take on the personality of a pet, animal, or made-up animal and write a poem/story from the perspective of that animal.

Prompt: Envisioning

Write a word to describe your day so far…

Now, if your word to describe your day could be absolutely anything in the entire world (examples/interaction), what would it be?

Pretend you were in the White House to convince the President to make your word (of the day if it could be any word) the national word of the day. Tell him/her about that word and why it should be.

Prompt: Telling it like it is

Use a prompt like “List five things that go away and come back again” –or- “I used to…., but now I…” –or “I am…” and use as a base for students to build a personal narrative/narrative poem.

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