Our decision proved to be right as we had a fruitful afternoon. J was asked to draw a castle and to build his castle using marshmallows and toothpicks. The picture below shows what he came up with. I could see his very mathematical brain at work to form a symmetrical building. :)
Next, he had to close his eyes and imagine what he saw, smelled, felt and heard as he stepped into the castle. He was also instructed to pretend he was picking up something and to 'see' that something in his mind. I thought the trigger activity was really engaging.
Then came the actual writing. J wrote about his visit to the castle and the trainer Ms Claudine gave suggestions on adding details. She also taught him a new word.
Another activity I found interesting was the vocabulary game they played. Three of the students (including J) pitted their vocabulary knowledge against one another. At each round, the facilitator gave the meaning of a word and the students were supposed to look for the corresponding word on the mat and step on it. At the end of the game, students formed sentences using the words they had learnt. I was amused when one of the boys made the following sentence which he said was based on true facts: My sister is so belligerent that she challenges everything I say. She even challenged my algebraic expression recently and she is only four years old!
While we were at the centre, there were five other students. Each one was assigned his own writing task according to his age and needs. The trainers moved around to help the students improve on their writing. I was fascinated with how a younger boy was prompted to create a character. In his story, he came up with the idea of an invisible cloak which helped the protagonist steal money for his parents. Ms Claudine reminded him of the importance of values and asked if he would reconsider the stealing idea. He did change his story to make it morally acceptable. It seemed like he was writing a story about a family and one of his related activities was to paint a mask:
The centre was not big, but it was teeming with creativity.
What impressed me most was the display of books written by students. These were written during the Young Authors Workshop and the sale proceeds of each book was given to a charity of the writer's choice. A copy of one of the books was sent to the President as the writer had made mention of her. The personable President wrote a letter back!
I asked J to think of a word to summarise the lesson and his word was "Excellent". So, thank you very much, Ms Claudine, for that wonderful lesson. We are looking forward to the Young Authors Workshop in June and hoping that the dates will match our schedule. :)
Ms Claudine has kindly offered the following giveaway to readers of this blog:
1) One free lesson at Artistic Strategies, including a diagnostic test (worth $55) for 2 readers/followers
2) Free Every Child's Guide to Write Away! (Volume 1) activity book (worth $20) for 2 readers/followers
To qualify, please
1) Like the Artistic Strategies Academy Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/artisticstrategies.com.sg) by 14 Feb 2018 and
2) Send an email to Ms Claudine at email@example.com with Blessed Family blog giveaway in the subject by the same deadline. In the email, please include which giveaway you are interested in.
The giveaway is first come, first served. All the best. :)