The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Nature, Writing, Literature: Winter Twigs and Germantown Flora

  Winter Twigs and Germantown Flora January-March 2014 Our winter workshop has included snow, research, snow, speculations, observations, and a little more snow. For the past several weeks, we enjoyed reading True Lies: 18 Tales for You to Judge by George Shannon. In each story, a character communicates something that is interpreted differently from what is literally said. Our group was very savvy in…

Read More→

Nature, Writing, Literature: Freewriting and Freewalking

Freewriting and Freewalking December 3, 2013 As we waited for everyone to arrive, we played a word game of creating sentences with each person adding one word at a time.  After the first hilarious and inventive sentence, several young people asked, “Are you writing these down?”  One person commented that we could add them to the blog.  Here are the…

Read More→

Nature, Writing, Literature: Words Enough to Capture

Words Enough to Capture November 5 and 12, 2013 Make a list of 30 words you don’t think you can write without (the most fundamental words of any communication: the, and, of, etc.). Now write a response to this question, without using those words: What is the origin of the moon? A participant in our workshop created this prompt and…

Read More→

Nature, Writing, Literature: From Leaf to Leaf

From Leaf to Leaf October 22 and 29, 2013 Highlights of the past two weeks in our program included getting to know the trees of Awbury a little better. On October 22, we hiked over to the meadow near the pond and took a few minutes with tree guides to identify as many trees as we could within a defined…

Read More→

Nature, Writing, Literature: One Small Square

One Small Square October 15, 2013 Do squirrels remember where they bury their nuts? This seemed like an interesting question to contemplate as naturalists, and we speculated about how squirrels might retrace their steps to survive. We read what scientists have determined so far and what questions still remain in The Where, The Why, and the How. Then, approaching the…

Read More→

S.T.E.A.M. Maker: Exploring the World of Makers, Artists, and Inventors

Exploring the World of Makers, Artists, and Inventors (October 8 and 10, 2013) Last week the Talking Stick Tuesday and Thursday  10-15 year old homeschool program went on a field trip.  The weather was perfect, and after a short walk to the train station, we were on our way. Due to the careful planning of Paige, we fit so much into…

Read More→

Nature, Writing, Literature: Expedition and Discovery

Expedition and Discovery (October 1, 2013) I began our session by adding a card to our bulletin board of suggested books: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (the memory of this story had inspired my thinking about our adventures for the morning). This first card on the bulletin board beckoned others, in the course of the day, to…

Read More→

Nature, Writing, and Literature: Jewelweed and Talking Trees

Jewelweed and Talking Trees September 17 and 24, 2013 William Carlos Williams wrote of “the alphabet of the trees” in his poem “The Botticellean Trees,” and I began our workshop by reading an excerpt from this poem and asking everyone to write what the alphabet of the trees might be, look like, or sound like. Some responses suggested a list…

Read More→

Talking Stick Participant Receives National Poetry Award

When our Writing Workshop Facilitator, Paige Menton, announced to the group details about national poetry contest, ten-year-old Gioia M. of Mt. Airy was intrigued. The nationwide 2013 Sarah Mook Memorial Poetry Contest is an annual event that accepts submissions from students in Kindergarten through High School. Entering the contest was not directly a part of the Writing Workshop, but rather…

Read More→

Writing Workshop: Iridescent Ribbon, Rhyme, and Rime Royal

Iridescent Ribbon, Rhyme, and Rime Royal We recently read Wallace Steven’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and discussed our impressions and favorite words and lines. Then I placed 13 objects in the middle of the table and asked everyone to write a poem making whatever connections they wanted between the objects. They could also choose to focus on…

Read More→