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13 Again

Today I had the privilege of enlightening 7th graders on the craft of writing. About three hundred 12 and 13 year olds listened to the presentation, which I tried to make enjoyable by using illustrations and photos.

To get the students to interact, I constructed a letter written by a kid at summer camp in Hawaii. We used various writing tools to transform it from plain text to a vivid description of what a few days of camp in the Aloha State might be like. Below the pictures you can read the original and the revised versions. I believe some of the kids benefited from the presentation.

My conclusion from the day: I had fun, but I really don’t miss being thirteen years old!!

Rough Draft:

Hey everyone!

My first week in Hawaii was so fun! I love to swimming in the clear water! My favorate part was camping out near a volcano. We made smores and they tasted so good! Oh, and they have really cool fish ponds at the airport.

Bye now!

Final: My first week in Hawaii was a complete blast! Guess what? The airport has ponds with gigantic koi fish! They’re fat, shiny, and stay at the bottom of the green water like they’re dead! The water at the beach is just like a pool. I can see straight down to the rocky bottom when I’m swimming! Last night we camped out near a volcano. We didn’t get to see any lava, but it was still cool. The counselor made a crackling bonfire. I had a sunburn, so the heat from the flames didn’t feel all that great. It was worth it, though. My favorite part so far was making S’mores. We used long, shiny metal sticks to roast the big squishy marshmallows. While they cooked, it smelled like grandma’s house when she bakes cookies. My marshmallow got puffy and black. It nearly fell off my stick, but I plopped it onto the graham cracker just in time. A little dripped on my arm and burned, but I didn’t care. I immediately put the chocolate onto the stack and topped it with another graham cracker. When the chocolate melted and turned to goo with the marshmallow, I stuffed a bite in my mouth. It was perfect sweetness like pancakes, Oreos, ice cream and cookies all together. Side note: At the end of the first session, a student came up and said she read Deadly Transformation! Her father bought it and gave it to her after he finished. I was astonished and flattered!

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