2019 Summer Writing Intensive: Day One

Today was the first day of WHOSE GARDEN WAS THIS?, 826DC’s summer writing intensive all about conservation! Fifteen students in third through sixth grade and four trained volunteers joined us at the writing center to kick off the program.

Getting Started

We began the day by getting to know one another and dividing into groups, each with their very own volunteer.

The students then worked together to name their groups, landing on “Team Panda,” “The Meditating Gladiator Rangers,” “The White Tigers,” and “The Fire-Eating Potatoes.”

Talking Trees and Books with Tara Campbell

Author—and longtime 826DC volunteer—Tara Campbell then joined us to read from her book TreeVolution, to lead the groups in several tree-based writing activities, and to answer student questions about what it’s like to write and publish books.

Three student "You and Your Tree" worksheets about what trees like and dislike, as well as a question that the students would ask a tree if they could.
The students brainstormed what trees might like and dislike, and wrote down questions that they would ask a tree, if they could!

Great End for a Great First Day

Before we wrapped up WHOSE GARDEN WAS THIS? for the day, we asked the students what they learned and what they were excited about for next time. Here’s what they said:

What did we learn?

“Trees have a life too!”

“Trees like water.”

“A lot of people burn trees for energy.”

What are we excited about?

“I’m excited to write more!”

“Field trips!”

“I want to meet more real-life authors.”

“Lunch!”

Looking Ahead

We have a ton of great writing and fun field trips in store over the next two weeks! The students will visit places like the U.S. Botanic Garden and Common Good City Farm, and will write new rules for how to best maintain and protect the natural world.

Want to help us offer more free STEM-based summer writing programs like this one? Donations from the community—especially recurring gifts—make this all possible. If you’re able to give and you want to support these young writers, you can do so here: