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News and Events
November 2022

First Field Trip

Mushroom Kingdom book cover

826DC kicked off the first field trip of the school year with a visit to the Center City Public Charter School in Congress Heights!

We joined kindergarten, first, and second grade students for an unforgettable morning and afternoon.

A Fun Friday Morning

In the morning, the first grade students enthusiastically crowded into the kindergarten classroom to collaborate with their peers and create an original story together.

We started off by discussing, as a large group, what sorts of things we need to make a story. We already had pencils and paper, so all we needed then was a setting, some characters, and a plot!

The young writers split into three groups, with one group brainstorming the setting and the other two each coming up with a character. After careful consideration, the students determined that their story would be set in a Mushroom Kingdom and feature characters named DARK TITAN and Kate.

One of the slides that the group used to take notes

Now that they had their setting and characters, it was time to write! We brought the students back together to write the beginning and middle of the story as a large group, then to each write  a unique ending on their own. This way, they get to practice collaborating with their peers and expressing their own imaginations, and also take home their own unique and original stories!

The students even designed their own illustrations to accompany the endings that they wrote. When 826DC publishes the field trip books, we’ll include each student’s illustrations in their copy to take home. In addition to the students’ drawings, each book will also feature cover art and illustrations from professional illustrators Jiaping Chen and Eileen Chong.

What Happened in the Mushroom Kingdom?

In the beginning of the story, DARK TITAN asks Kate to marry him in a pizzeria. Then, as the two characters are sipping orange juice in a hot tub, Kate accidentally swallows a spider! In their individual endings, the students decided how DARK TITAN can help Kate while following our one rule: no violence. They were all creative problem-solvers, with some students writing that DARK TITAN takes Kate to the hospital and others deciding that he should pat her back or reach into her mouth to pull the spider out.

An Amazing Afternoon

In the afternoon, the second grade students followed the same general structure to create their own original story. Here’s what came from their imaginations:

Setting: A mansion with lots of trees in New York City, the city has a grocery store

Character 1: Princessa the dog, she is a Dalmatian and hates being dirty, afraid of heights and the dark and spiders, she is good at dog parkour and jumping through hoops of fire

Character 2: Lil’ Sprinkles, chocolate cupcake with legs and arms, a rapper, and very short, he can bake cakes, and he is good at basketball, and he likes to bake cakes BECAUSE he is a cake, afraid of heights and water bugs

Looking Ahead

The young authors had a great time on these field trips and enjoyed practicing storytelling with us.

“I wish you guys were here everyday,” one student exclaimed as we prepared to leave. 

826DC works with young authors on writing and publishing stories with field trips to schools around the city. If you are interested in supporting us and helping to amplify student voices, you can always make a donation here or learn about getting involved as a volunteer here!


This blog post was written by Margaret Kelley, 826DC Communications and Development Intern.