Book Camp Life

Book Camp 2019, Day 3

Today we studied journalism! We started the day with critiques of yesterday’s work, and those critiques went much more smoothly. The kids took things in better stride. We were dressed for an outing to the Oklahoma Gazette midmorning. But first, the kids each wrote a nonfiction prompt and traded. They got ten minutes to research their prompts and another ten minutes to write a brief news article on the prompt. Here’s my favorite!

 Don’t worry! We talked about sources, ethics, and integrity.

After chores we headed down to the offices of the Oklahoma Gazette. The operations manager, who had kindly scheduled our tour on short notice, showed us the offices for writing, editorial, ad sales, and graphic design. She told us the silver strips lining the hallways were for checking print layout.

Afterwards, we joined the managing editor in a conference room. She discussed the jobs at the Gazette, how the magazine is funded and made, and how criticism is handled. She went on to discuss book publishing in some detail. The kids got a magazine, three pens each, and a small tablet of stickies. They were psyched!

The youngest among us broke 18 eggs for sandwiches. Lunch passed in a haze of Nailed It and conversation. Then we discussed news articles in more depth, including both the questions that need to be answered and the structure of a news article. The children chose their own topics:

  • car crashes
  • science fiction
  • ocean plastic
  • two-headed turtle
  • black hole

They researched and wrote throughout until late in the afternoon. Then they went back to work on the opus projects they’ve been fine-tuning since April.

As we watch Men in Black 3, pork carnitas simmer, awaiting their final crisping. Watermelon sits ready for our evening indulgence. And happiness soaks into spaces between all of us.

Postscript: Last night after my writing we had a firefly expedition. It was BRILLIANT.

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