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Summer Camp 2012


Another update from our Creative Writing & Art Camp

The Art Edition:

On Wednesday, students created wire "characters" to sketch in different poses to aid in drawing their book characters. We learned about perspective to create backgrounds and different points of view.  We discussed "visual flow" to make our book and story look interesting with recognizable characters throughout.
Today we had a busy and productive afternoon- it zipped by! All the students created their book cover and began pasting in the art they created and adding illustrations. I worked with each camper individually so they felt confident about pulling their book together. Tomorrow everyone will paste or write their story into the book. WOW!
Take a look at preview photos of some of their book covers and illustrations.
-Laurie Croft, Art Teacher
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The Writing Edition:

We started off the morning talking about kids who don't have access to books and don't have a bookshelf crammed with their own favorite books at home. Campers brought in some of the books they're ready to part with to donate to The East Bay Children's Book Project. Founded and run by retired librarians and teachers, the EBCBP get books to kids who would otherswise not have them.

To get the creative juices flowing, our first writing activity today was a free-write prompt: "What I hate about being a kid is..." Here are some of the sentiments expressed:

"What I hate about being a kid is I can't go to the moon, I can't drive, I can't stay up all night, and I don't got dat ca$h..."

- Adrian

Adrian and Claire (instructor)

Adrian and Claire (Instructor)





Diego, Lucas and Dante

Diego, Lucas, and Dante

Diego, Lucas and Dante

Emily and Simone


What I hate about being a kid is that grown-ups never understand you when you are explaining something."







Elizabeth (Instructor), LyLy, and Alicia

"I hate that I have to live with my family. (Actually I don't hate living with my family, it's just that I want to live by myself!)"

- Alicia

We spent the rest of the morning finishing, editing and proofreading our children's books which are shaping up to be quite impressive.



Our campers dive into words!

Our campers explored two inspiring free-write prompts yesterday, one about their name and one about an emotion. Here are some of the results:

My name is Dante. My name is made from plastic. I found my name in a cereal box My name can be a super-hero. If I lost my name I would change it.



My fear is a haunted house. My fear is made from nerves. I found my fear in a graveyard My fear can be really scary. If I lost my fear I would be very happy.



My name is a flowing breeze. It is made from sounds from outside the box. I found it on the tip of my tongue. My name can bring pollen from flowers. If I lost my name ina sea of words it would come find me.

- Fatima



Day 4 of Bedtime Story: Creative Writing & Art Camp at Piedmont Parks and Rec

The Art Edition:

We started off Wednesday morning with some Observational Drawing. Campers first did warm up drawings called Gesture Drawings which are quick- sometimes only 30 seconds. From there we did extended Contour Drawings. Then campers selected a Gesture Drawing to translate into a 3-dimensional wire sculpture. Students spent the latter part of the morning working on preliminary sketches that tomorrow they will begin to transpose into illustrations of the stories they have been writing.


Mira with Gesture Drawing


Noah Drawing


Maddie with Wire Sculpture


Izzy's Wire Sculpture


Charlotte's Preliminary Sketch


The Writing Edition:

Today campers finished up their stories, revised, and began neatly copying their final drafts on notebook paper to be glued into their books that they began this morning in art. They look great!!

Looking forward to the reading and exhibit tomorrow!

Here are the sneak peeks:


Sally's First Day by Maddie


page 1 by Maddie



Thank You, Carrie by Charlotte


page 1 by Charlotte


Those 28 Words by Mira


page 1 by Mira


Deep in the Golden Bubble by Marley


page 1 by Marley


On My Way Home by Izzy


page 1 by Izzy


A Turtle That Sprints by Noah


page 1 by Noah


A Skweeky Story by Nina


page 1 by Nina



Day 2 of Bedtime Story: Creative Writing & Art Camp at Piedmont Parks and Rec

The Art Edition:

It's been a busy couple mornings of art making. We've looked at various books for story illustration inspiration. Tuesday we focused on the painted paper collage work of Eric Carle. We've also talked about various media artists use: collage, watercolor or photography, for instance and have focused on developing painting techniques such as color mixing and watercolor paintbrush techniques. By week's end students will create at least one large finished original illustration for their story. Below are examples of what we've been up to so far.

Books for Inspiration


Izzy's Sketchbook Cover


Noah with color mixing project


Mira, Charlotte, and Marley painting

The Writing Edition:

Monday and Tuesday we discussed the elements of a good story, character, plot, and conflict and built a group story using those elements. Next the kids brainstormed ideas for their own stories and today they dug in!

Here are some poems from a warm-up exercise we did today.



My happiness is sports

My happiness is made from my friends

I found my happiness in a room of light

My happiness can be writing or art

-by Noah



My sadness is a cat that can't purr.

My sadness is made from my dog that died.

I found my sadness in my dog's ashes.

My sadness drifts lonely in the huge ocean.

If I lost my sadness I will be myself again.

-by Mira



My happiness is reading on my bed.

My happiness is made from a lake in the woods.

I found my happiness in a box full of books.

My happiness can be happy.

If I lost my happiness I would still be me.

-by Nina



My fear is haunting me.

It is made from my wild imagination.

I found my fear in the television set.

My fear can go away.

If I lost my fear I would be finally living my life.

-by Charlotte



My joy is a young colt ready to run.

My joy is made from many added excitements.

I found my joy in the things that I love best.

My joy can explode into happiness.

If I lost my joy I would never be happy, excited, or amazed, or surprised again.

-by Izzy



My happiness is a leaf proudly falling from a tree.

My happiness is made from sunshine and care.

I found my happiness in a box of music.

My happiness can always be true.

If I lost my happiness I would find it soon.

-by Maddy



Day four of Take Flight! Creative Writing and Art Summer Camp!

The Art Edition:

On day 4 we finished our mixed media maps, using sharpie to accentuate the lines and then using watercolor and colored pencil to color it in.





Also, we looked at the work of artist Alexander Calder who is well known for his mobiles and started working on aluminum mobiles.




On to the Writing Edition:

On day four we discussed the idiom "flights of fancy" and using our imaginations came up with our own definitions of what a flight of fancy was to us!

Here are some excerpts:

At the top of the hill an ancient evil lives. Its claws as sharp as bolts of lightening, fur of fluffiness, and scales of poison. It is half dragon and half cat and it is destined to be defeated...



Ultra cat was facing one of Dr. Midas's creations: a robot of pure gold who would turn the entire city into gold. His paw blasts and telekinesis were no match for the 'bot's gold and diamond armor. He attacked the bot with paw blasts, threw cars at it, and used his super claws to slash up the bot. His ki was spent and he went back to the cat cave to think up a strategy...



I had never expected to find anything so I had no idea what to do when I found it.

It all started when I was taking my exploration route in Antarctica for the 48th time (and yes, I do count). I was trudging up the hill when I saw something zip down from the sky and land on the other side f the hill leaving a streak of blueberries behind it...




Take Flight! Creative Writing & Art Camp: The Art Edition

So far it's been a great, fun week. 
Day 1
We made sketchbooks for students to use throughout the week.



Sculptures of insects with a focus on bees. Some chose to make diorama environments for them. Notice Claire's "pirate bee."


Day 2
We looked at various pictures of found object sculpture and talked about why artists might used found or recycled materials to make art. Then we made a sculpture of something that flies and wrote artist's statement. We also talked about the Studio Habits of Mind developed by Harvard researchers ( - for more info) and used them as a framework to talk about the process of creating the sculptures.





Day 3
We looked at abstract artist, Cy Twombly and prepared paper to finish tomorrow for our theme, "Flights of Fancy."
We talked about Amelia Earhart and exploration. Then made paper airplanes.
Finally we started mixed media maps that could be of real, emotional or imaginary places.