In celebration of the National Day on Writing 2015, the Shaker High School English Council, led by English teacher Siobhan Matrose, coordinated a community writing project titled “The Point.” The goal was to show the range of imagination of K-12 students, faculty, and staff. While all members of the North Colonie community were invited to participate, high school student writing consultants visited five elementary schools to guide students through a writing prompt written on an image of a compass.
Students were directed to draw a point on a picture of a compass that was given to them. They then had to decide upon a person, place, or thing (real or imagined) to which the compass was pointing. Using their creativity, students had to explain in writing where they wanted the compass to lead them, and who or what they might find there.
“We saw this National Day on Writing as an opportunity to build community,” said Matrose. “The high school students are inspired by the work they do with the younger kids. There is something about the ease with which the younger students tap into their imaginations that reminds the high school students not to let that part of themselves go.”
Maryanna Lansing, a Shaker High School senior, said she benefited from the experience just as much as the younger students did.
“To be able to see their interest in writing at a young age and their creativity makes it more inspiring to write for high school,” she said. “I hope they stick with this as the years progress. These activities help give students a different and fun perspective on writing.”
“The English Department has celebrated the National Day on Writing in different ways during the past several years,” added English Department Supervisor, Pam Burns. “This year, we wanted to have a program that was student led, and involved multiple grade levels. The student writing consultants were an integral part of fine tuning the compass theme, and were very enthusiastic about leading the younger students. Ms. Matrose did an amazing job of securing supplies, and organizing the students’ schedule.”
“There is something in our imaginations that brings us all together, no matter our grade or age,” added Matrose. “It is nice to be reminded of that and to take the time to praise the power of giving voice to imagination.”
The final projects will be on display at Shaker High School. Click here to see a photo gallery of the event at Blue Creek Elementary.