Today marks the very first day of our teen sessions. After two smash hit weeks with our 9-11 year olds, we’re excited to welcome the new 12-14 year old campers.
We began the day with a few welcome activities led by this session’s teaching artist, Madeline Cohen, better known as the Director of our Education programs here at Symphony Space. For our first activity, we shared a few personal details, such as: What book would you like to be a character in? What character would you like to hang out with?; and, What book would you recommend to someone who has never read a book before? Although each person only had one minute to respond to the question, lots of lively conversations ensued. Some of the books campers would recommend to someone who had never read a book before ranged from Harry Potter to To Kill a Mockingbird to Romeo and Juliet, all for excellent reasons.
After getting to know each other a little better, we began our special Monday mini-book groups. Each of our staff members led 8-minute discussions about each of the five books that we’ll be exploring this week. We all got a chance to share our thoughts and opinions on the books, and prepare some incisive questions and curiosities for the authors we’ll meet this week. After 8 lively minutes, campers switched over to another book, and so on.
At noon, we headed out for a relaxing lunch at a nearby park. The group enjoyed the perfect weather by chatting and reading in the sun.
This afternoon we were joined by Christopher Ford, author of the epic and hilarious graphic novel Stickman Odyssey. Ford, who is also sometimes a screenwriter, spoke to us about his background and career and explained his love for drawing stick figures. Stickman Odyssey is somewhat of a spoof of Greek myths (with a few other recognizable characters, too), made entirely out of stick figures! We had a chance to act out some parts of the book, reading the speech bubbles as lines.
Christopher then led a group exercise where we each took turns drawing a single panel of a comic, and then passed the comic to our neighbor. Each time the comic was passed, the recipient only saw the most recently-drawn panel, not all of them, and had to take it from there.
This resulted in 24 unique stories of 8 panels by 8 different authors. Here are some of the hilarious results:
After sharing our new graphic creations, we each met with Christopher to have our books signed. With that, day 1 came to a close. See you tomorrow!