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The Fearless Times

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Summer Zoom-In on Stories: Week 4 (MIDDLE school)

Hello Fearless Ideas community!

For our fourth and final week of the Zoom-In on Stories summer program, we welcomed back students for our weekly theme for this last class: "bringing it home"!

We began with a blind-line contour drawing, where students were asked to draw another classmate in the Zoom, but without looking down at their paper. It was so fun seeing each student's quirky creations after we went around to share everyone's drawings. This exercise was meant to show students that it's important to be able to embrace our mistakes and not need to strive for perfection to create something valuable, and we were delighted with each kid's fearless and creative approach to this activity!

Next, we introduced our guest speaker, Kristin Leong from KUOW Public Radio! Kristin began by introducing what she does for work, posing students the question "what IS public radio"? (hint: it's not just the news!) Next, together we watched a video called The Last Mile by 15-year-old Noah St. John, which won the NPR Snap Judgement Performance of the Year. We discussed elements of storytelling and how Noah composed a compelling narrative through his performance:

  • How did Noah start his story?

  • What are interesting ways to start a story other than at the chronological beginning?

  • What surprised you about Noah’s story?

Students eagerly shared their ideas and thoughts as we opened up room for group discussion. It was amazing to see all the different aspects of Noah's speech that students picked up and fearlessly incorporated into our conversation together.

Continuing this theme, students were given a writing prompt to: tell a story involving a family member that doesn’t start at the “beginning”! It was so fun to see all the different and creative directions students took with this prompt once we shared everyone's works.

Before we left, we ended by writing a group poem together - here's the final product!

A True Dream

Inside of a ring with a maze on it

Is a road and a story

I was riding my bike

As fast as possible, passing through the wind.

You should have let me win in golf and

We started to lose hope

That we'd ever see the end of the river.

I threw a foam cube at it and

Our laughter was muffled by the crashing waves

As we bent our knees, held our breath and jumped...

And then they woke up.

It was amazing to see everyone's creative efforts culminate into this poem, and we're so excited to share it with you all! We bid our students farewell with this last key takeaway from our virtual summer together: Stories are everywhere, they live with us and surround us. Write them down and share them!

It was our pleasure here at BFI to host each of of these imaginative and clever students this summer! We can't wait to reunite with their smiling faces soon.

Until next time!


Created, edited, and posted by Michelle Z.

Fearless Ideas summer intern



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