The field trip was a fantastic success! Despite getting lost and having to turn around a few times to find our way, we had a great time, and the kids were well behaved (no "are we there yet" whines until just about lunch time). We hung out at the park, where we ate lunch, and then we trooped on over to the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, where we spent the afternoon with our instructor, Marian Szczepanski, current writer in residence. (You can see a photo of her here.)
She teaches college courses, so she wasn't sure how elementary and junior high kids would respond. Marian and I were both surprised. Kids who were normally reserved became talkative and avidly involved; those who were often disruptive were quiet and attentive. They all took notes, asked questions, answered questions, jumped into activities without restraint. It was awesome! And all along the way, they learned the basics of good storytelling. (I might share a few of those notes in a future post.)
We stayed forty minutes past the scheduled time, because everyone was so into the final activity -- cutting out pictures from magazines and pasting them to pages for a visual directory of characters and settings.
As you can see, we had less attendance than expected (9, instead of 12), but that only meant more time with each kid, and more room for them all to spread out in the van, especially on the way home, when they were tired.
Even before the event was over, I had requests of "Can we do this again?" asked in eager voices.
Wow. What better gift?