Flow of the Day
Our day generally follows the 8 Shields approach found in Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown.
Here's what a day might look like:
10-10:15 (Northeast, Opening):
Wild Writers arrive and examine some collected natural objects and consider an optional exploratory/writing prompt while waiting for everyone to gather at the table. Opening circle. Once assembled, we say a quick choral poem/excerpt together call-and-response style.
10:15-10:30 am (East, Inspire):
Wild Writers take turns reporting on their mission from last week (examples: choose a color and record as many places that you see that color over the next week as you can, find an animal’s home and imagine its interior in as much detail as possible, notice what is the last thing you hear before falling asleep and the first thing you hear when you wake up, bring in a story that makes you really feel like you are in a certain place...), and share something they are curious about now (Erin takes notes for future investigations). Erin introduces the day’s theme (examples: mapping our surroundings, noticing changing colors, finding hiding places, listening like deer...).
10:30-11 am (Southeast, Activate):
Wild Writers cross the creek and head into Open Space to explore the theme of the day through games, observations, wandering, and acting.
11-11:30 am (South, Focus):
Erin provides a writing prompt (examples: what newspaper headlines can you come up with around our theme, write a story about our theme told by an animal, write something about our theme starting with “Don’t forget…”, what name would you give this place and why, etc.). Each writer finds a comfortable spot to settle in to write. Writers use the prompt and incorporate the theme of the day, their morning wandering, and/or the results from their last mission.
11:30 am-12 pm (Southwest, Take a Break):
Wild Writers enjoy the lunches they brought from home, and take a bathroom break if they choose.
12-12:25 pm (West, Gather and Share):
Wild Writers complete a 2 minute Sit Spot at our usual location, share their writing (examples: with a partner, with the group, with Erin), and provide positive feedback to one another (examples: "What worked for me was...", "The juiciest word I heard was...", "I would love to know more about this part of your story..."). Erin will also share her response to the prompt, and will read aloud published work by another author pertaining to the theme.
12:25-12:30 pm (Northwest, Reflect):
Wild Writers discuss what worked in our writing today? What did we discover in our explorations?
12:30-12:45 pm (North, Integrate):
Wild Writers star the part of their writing they would like to share in our closing circle, and write an intention for our next meeting. We return to the table.
12:45-1 pm (Northeast: Close and Listen for What's Next):
Parents join the circle, and Wild Writers read out loud their favorite lines of the day. Erin ties these together and introduces the mission to complete at home for next week. We close by saying in unison a phrase written that day.