One of the greatest challenges in school systems is inspiring students to write creatively–without fear of being wrong.

WORD UP! kids allows students of all ages & abilities to wind up their imaginations while writing free verse during a 45-60 minute time frame. The final 10 minutes of class are for reading aloud.

The techniques are based on a theory of writing created by LA Poet Jack Grapes, called Tonal Dynamics. Don’t let the fancy word fool you, it’s an incredible, simple method that will equip your kid with skills to use in everything he or she writes, from essays, book reports, exams to poetry, plays, fiction and songwriting.

Movement based techniques from the Brain Gym Foundation are also used before and during the writing to help children move across the neurological divide into the unchartered territory of their left brain, where the imagination lives.

The class focuses on the basics of creative writing: using critical thinking and language as tools for self-expression and discovery. The emphasis is on exploration of the creative process rather than the product-though students will usually produce poems and story scenes in each session.

Every class the teacher presents writing examples along with his own work and other student work. Writing becomes exciting, intriguing, and leads to discussion of writing craft and wordplay. Most of the class is devoted to writing exercises that follow from examples and discussion.

A part of each session is devoted to reading aloud and discussing students’ work. Students are encouraged to give positive feedback to each others’ creative efforts, to learn from each others’ offerings, and to approach literature with a writer’s eye.

Our program enriches California state standards for writing and language arts. Individual session usually last fifty minutes to one hour.

4th Graders writing on location during a monthly field observation trip

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