Tiger Tales Literacy Camp

Tiger Tales Literacy Camp

Where readers, writers, & illustrators GEAUX to be creative

The LSU School of Education hosted the third annual Tiger Tales Literacy Camp May 23 - 27, 2016 in Peabody Hall on the LSU campus. 

Through a unique collaboration between the School of Education and the LSU Writing Project, the camp hosted local children in kindergarten to seventh grade. Attendees participated in activities focused on developing and extending students’ literacy skills within the genre of poetry, including free verse, haiku, concrete, and acrostic. This year’s theme, ‘Poetry to Geaux: An Experience in Written Expression,’ guided camp activities.

The camp added another layer of collaboration by involving graduate students as “camp counselors,” who are also local certified Louisiana teachers.

Counselors included Brandie McNabb, President of the Louisiana Reading Association, Alecia Tate, doctoral student, Kelsey Boyajian, master’s student in education, and Jamie Hipp, doctoral student in curriculum and instruction. Counselors were responsible for planning and facilitating all literacy instruction. They began planning in the spring, studying Rhythm and Resistance by Christensen and Watson to sharpen their pedagogical skills in poetry.

"I would encourage all doctoral students to work with the Tiger Tales program," Hipp said. "The experience was a wonderful opportunity to network and collaborate with other graduate students who simultaneously participated in the LSU Writing project. Our week together also included action research. This research has led to two articles thus far – one accepted for publication already, authored by my co-counselor Brandie McNabb and myself."

Tiger Tales campers began their week with a visit to Mike the Tiger’s Habitat followed by a trip to the LSU Veterinary School. Campers also toured the LSU campus, visiting sites such as the LSU Museum of Natural Science, the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory, the LSU Dairy Store, and the Ceramics Studio within the LSU School of Art, where students learned wheel throwing techniques and created their own pottery.

A highlight of the week was meeting Brod Bagert, renowned Louisiana children’s poet. Bagert worked first with LSU Writing Project participants, then worked with the Tiger Tales campers while adults observed arena style. Bagert, a children's poet from New Orleans, has written 19 books of poetry for children, young-adults, and adults. Bagert’s work has been recognized nationally and internationally; he has been awarded the International Literacy Association’s prestigious Young Adults Choices award, the Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award, the Independent Publisher Gold Book Award, and Mom’s Choices Gold Medal. Tiger Tales campers were enthralled by Bagert who read his work aloud and coached Tiger tales campers on poem choices and writing styles.

Campers produced final projects showcasing their skills using Animoto, book making, writing, collage, and illustrating, which they shared daily. These experiences served as inspiration for the numerous student-written poems during camp.

"The Tiger Tales Literacy Camp is an exceptional week of academic enrichment and friendship," Hipp said. "It brings together students from across the Capital areea to work cooperatively on LSU's beautiful campus. My favorite moments of the week included students celebrating success with writing, editing, and revising poetry using both theatre and visual art."

The camp is directed by School of Education Associate Professor, Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, who created the camp concept. Sulentic Dowell is also Director of the LSU Writing Project.

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About the LSU Writing Project

The Louisiana State University Writing Project (LSU WP) promotes the exploration of writing, writing research, and how to share writing best practice among educators (established 1985). The goal of the Louisiana State University Writing Project is to improve the teaching of writing and ultimately, help Louisiana students become accomplished writers and learners. Through professional development and outreach, the project serves a ten parish network of districts and schools in the southern part of the state.

LSU Writing Project workshops and professional development are tailored to provide a variety of writing-specific learning opportunities for administrators, educators, students, staff, and faculty.

Configurations include entire staff, departments, or customized groups of educators.

About SOE

The LSU School of Education (SOE) offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Research, and Counseling. The School’s mission is to prepare P-12 educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues.

Visit the School of Education at lsu.edu/education

About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at chse.lsu.edu