Posts filed under ‘Literacy’

My Heart in a Suitcase

Abigail Rosenthal

Today in school, we took a field trip to the Flynn to watch a special show called My Heart In A Suitcase. My heart in a Suitcase is about a girl named Anne who is Jewish and her family’s struggles through the rise of the Nazis coming to power. You see how difficult it is for her to go to school or even to have a Christian best friend. Towards the end of the play,  it is too unsafe for her to stay in Germany,  so she is lucky enough to be on the Kinder Transport. Throughout her amazing story,  you really get a feel for how it was like for a Jew living in Germany.

I thought the show was pretty good. We had just finished a unit on the holocaust, so it was interesting to see the changes in the Jews lives that we hadn’t heard about. We haven’t studied the Kinder Transport,  so it was interesting to briefly hear about that. I personally am very  interested in the holocaust,  so for me, if they talked a little more about the Kinder Transport I think it would add to the play. Overall, the play was informative and some of the little musical cues really added to the play.

I think that to make the play better the sound should be a little louder because at points it was hard to hear.  I liked the story, but at points I got bored. One thing that confused me were some of the scene changes, like you had her friend in the background changing the sign but she wasn’t in the scene. I liked the emotion in  the voices, but sitting in the back I couldn’t see the facial expressions. I did however enjoy the play because I felt that, although it was very respectful to the holocaust, it was still informative to the audience.

Overall I want to thank the Flynn for giving our schools the chance to see the wonderful play. I think that other people who are interested in the play would enjoy it and I think that it is appropriate for all ages.

April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm 1 comment

Small Moments by Rory and Peyton

Small Moments
by Rory and Peyton

In third and fourth grade, we learn lots of different kinds of writing. One of the things we have been writing about is a small moment. The way of remembering easily is that they are a seed of a watermelon. A watermelon is a big story. For example, the time you went on a vacation. A seed is a small story like the first plane you went on for that vacation.
Small moments aren’t just something random or untrue. A small moment is a true story that you love or don’t feel good about. But, it has to be something that happened to you.
When you hear the word small it means not a huge amount of time, but the writing can still be long. One part of small moments is you have to extend and expand your writing. How you do that is adding power words. Power words are long or important words.
You have to include every single detail for a small moment to be true. Lastly, we are going to give you two examples small moments. We hope you learned a lot about small moments! We hope you enjoy reading them, too!
Here are the examples:


By: Rory

   “Good luck,” said Peyton. Every Friday I have a spelling assessment, except our words are so hard it seems as if rocks are getting shoved into your back.

    I am a very great speller, but I have never scored 100%. I have wished to for so long that it would be a huge accomplishment.     I always get a high score but suddenly out of nowhere I saw my test and it said 100%. This is the first awesome moment that this has ever happened!     What I did was this. I only had one word left and had all the other words correct.  I was almost positive I knew all of the words. Then, I heard it. The word was xylophone and I spelled it correctly just like this

X-Y-L-O-P-H-O-N-E. It felt so good!

Finally, I can prove I’m not a bad speller!

Getting A kitten

By: Peyton

One fall day, in the afternoon, my brother went to the store with my dad. Then, when my brother left with my dad, my mom told me that a kitten that my aunt found was coming over so we could find it a home. When I heard that I was super excited! My mom also told me that my friend was coming over. So I had a super busy day!

My aunt did not arrive as quickly as I thought she would. But then a couple of minutes later she finally arrived. I was super excited!! I couldn’t wait until I got to see the kitten! But when I got to see it, it was so adorable  I knew right away that I did not want to give it away! The kitten had dark orange stripes and an orange body. I asked my mom if I could take the kitten upstairs so I could play with it. She said, “yes.” I quickly ran up the stairs with the kitten in my hands and I tried not to drop it and I didn’t drop it at all. When I got to the top of the stairs I gently put the kitten down and ran to grab a pompom. When I came back from getting the pompom I threw it and the kitten ran after it and the kitten looked faster than my brother. Then, I ran downstairs and asked my mom,”Can we keep the kitten?” Then my mom said, “Maybe.” I hoped that I could keep the kitten!

My friend, Sydney, finally arrived but before she stepped into the door I grabbed the kitten and ran  down the stairs but I only got halfway when she stepped in the door. When she saw the kitten she thought it looked so cute! Then we both ran up the stairs and we both started to play with it right away! We never wanted to stop playing with it. Then we finally decided to go downstairs and make a list of names for the kitten. We ended up with a whole list of  names. We had to choose one of our very favorite names and it was a hard choice to make. But then we finally  made a choice and it was Stripes. My mom really liked the name too. Sydney did not stay for long. When her dad came she did not want to leave at all so we just ran outside and started playing. When Sydney left  my brother and I came back inside. When we  back in, the kitten was fast asleep and it was so cute!

January 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm 2 comments

The Scribe

The Enrichment Program is proud to present the 21st  issue of  The Scribe, A Literary Journal. This year’s Scribe features the creative writing and art work of over 230 students in grades K-8.

Click here to enjoy the “best of the best”.


June 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

Synergy Mystery Animal Writers

Synergy students Alexa, Bridget, Chase, Mary, Myleigh and Nick participated in an Enrichment Mystery Writing Class. The emphasis was on vocabulary development and descriptive writing. Here we have the final project where each student chose an animal to describe. Art teacher, Sara Beeken, worked with these students to create a painting of each mystery animal in its habitat. The students hope you will enjoy their Photostory.

Your comments below are appreciated.

May 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm 5 comments

Madeleine Barrett; Avid Student Playwright

Madeleine Barrett

I was ridiculously excited. But intermixed with that excitement was a bit of nervousness. Okay, a lot of nervousness. I had only contacted these people through e-mail. I had never met them, nor had they met me. What if I did not live up to what they expected of me? What if they thought I was just a child? Or worse— what if there were other children there and I was taking this too seriously?

These were all the thoughts I had while walking into Flynn Space on Monday, the second of April. I had been invited to judge the plays for Young Playwrights, a program in which I was a participant last year.

I had contacted Cristina Weakland, the director of education, and she had come up with opportunities to help me in my 8th grade challenge, but also in my passion for writing and theatre. She then directed me to Joan Robinson, the Associate Director for School Programs. They invited me to come help judge the plays submitted by the schools around Vermont, and then to attend the Festival in May. I was awestruck by this honor.

That very same day as the judging, I had come back from a weekend trip to Boston for a final showing of Les Misérables on tour (Yes, this is what we playwrights do in our spare time) and I was so tired that all my negative thoughts ate at me. What if? What if? It was not helped by the fact that when I got there, the inside door was locked. Just in front of it was a sign that read: Young Playwrights Judging meets down here, with a nice and big arrow pointing to the stairs. The elevator would not go down. What if I had come to the wrong place? Or the wrong time? What if it was the wrong day?  My father and I stood there for a few moments, awkwardly shifting in the thick silence. But soon a woman with short hair wearing a white Irish cable knit sweater went to unlock the door. I opened my mouth to speak, but she didn’t seem to notice me or my 6-foot-something father. But just as she turned the key, she also turned to me, and said welcomingly—

“Are you Madeleine Barrett?” and extended her hand as I said yes. She brought me down to the basement stage room and explained to me what would be happening. I was still a tad jumpy, but seeing that stage down there and feeling the atmosphere made me feel much more secure; and as the others filed in, I knew I was with my own ‘kind’ and I felt completely at ease. Some people as they walked in looked confused at my presence and my tiny briefcase. Some looked just plain surprised. Others rushed toward me and introduced themselves, asking about what brought me here. I met my e-mail buddies, along with seeing people I already knew. When we began, we sat and introduced ourselves. We were to state our name and what force had brought us here, or our occupation. The line slowly progressed toward me. Each person had fantastic feats under their belts— like being in medical school or producing a show professionally, and I wasn’t sure what to say to make me sound in the least bit impressive. Finally they all glanced toward me. And the words were coming out before I knew it.

“Madeleine Barrett; avid student playwright.” I said certainly. They all smiled— some seemed as if it was because I was ‘cute’, but most others looked almost proud at how well I was blending in. I was the only younger-than-adult person there. When they divided into groups of four and divvied up the plays, the real fun began. We’d go through a play, making it come to life as best we could, and then comment and rate it. Between plays, I’d glance at the treat bowl in the center of the table, which none had yet taken from. I must not give into my childish urge for sweets! I did not want to be the first to break, but I was. Oh, well.

Each play was unique. Some did need some clear editing work, but they all shined in their own light. One of the things I found was that the group much preferred the plays of the middle-school pupils than that of the high school students. We had some real fun with characters, and it is not because we’re all undiscovered stars that an agent was never lucky enough to pick up. Well, that too. But it was because each person really made their characters, and story, shine in one way or another.

I must admit, I was much impressed by the work of the students. Now, the last thing I wish to be sounding like is superior. I am most certainly not, or I at least do not think of myself as being this way. I make mistakes; have stiff dialogue in some places; and sometimes many too-dramatic-storylines, among other things. When my school selected Young Playwrights participants this Fall, I was not selected since I had already had the chance to participate last year.  I felt an unbelievable sadness about this. I was jealous of those who were lucky enough to have their name plucked by fate. For a long time I was bitter.   But now I know without my misfortune, I would have never have looked for another way to be involved and have this awe-inspiring experience. By reading the work of others, I gained insight into my own writing.

I grabbed my briefcase and the last bits of chocolate from the treat bowl, looking around the near-empty room. Our group was the last one there. My father came in, right on time, 7:00 pm, and waved. They greeted him as Madeleine’s father.  “You can call me Bob,” he said with a wry smile, “but my name’s David.” We all laughed.  “Now we know where she gets it from.” Joan said with a wink.

April 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm 4 comments

The Snowy Day Stories by Mrs. Spagnuolo’s Class

Kindergarten students wrote about activities for a snowy day after reading the story by Ezra Jack Keats. Enjoy hearing their ideas. Please comment below.

February 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm 1 comment

Harmony House – Henry and Mudge at the Flynn Theatre

Harmony Reporters Jared, Lauren, Ellie and Hailey pose with pictures and writing about Henry and Mudge


By Jared, Ellie, Hailey and Lauren

      All students in Harmony House went to the Flynn to see the play Henry and Mudge. Henry and Mudge are characters in many stories by Cynthia Rylant. Henry is a young boy and Mudge is dog who likes crackers and popcorn, likes to drool and likes to sleep.

     We have been reading many Henry and Mudge stories in our classes. Hailey thought the play was funny and delightful to watch and it showed her how to be a better friend. Lauren thought they added a ton of feelings. Jared thought the acting was great and Ellie learned that you shouldn’t run away because you might get lost and your parents would be really scared and mad.

      There was lots of talking, singing and dancing. This story was about not getting mad when a friend is better at something than you are. In the beginning of the story Henry moved away from his good friend and cousin, Annie. He didn’t want to move. Annie mailed him notes and he put them together to make a sentence and found out that Annie was coming. That meant they had to clean!

      Annie is a better dog trainer than Henry. It seems like Mudge likes her more. Henry runs into the forest because he is mad and he doesn’t want Mudge to listen to Annie. He wants Mudge to listen to him. The whole point of getting Mudge was to have someone to play with since there were no children near where he lived.

     Mudge found Henry in the woods because he smelled Henry’s shoe that smelled like gopher and smelled treats had fallen out of his backpack.  

       Henry’s Mom told him that Annie had a rough time in the woods and that he should be nice to her. Her fancy ‘dry-cleaning’ dress with sequins got ruined when she was looking for Henry. She wanted to go home.

     In the end, Annie gave Henry a hug and she gave a hug to Mudge, too. Henry and Annie were best friends again.

     We felt excited to go to the Flynn and everyone clapped at the end.    

November 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm 1 comment

Older Posts


July 2018
« Nov    

Posts by Month

Posts by Category