Childrens Writing Workshop

Katie Simplicio reading her poem
Katie Simplicio reading her poem

NPS Photo

Children's Art and Writing at Aztec Ruins

Teachers of grades 3-5 in San Juan County, New Mexico, may apply to participate in Aztec Ruins National Monument Children's Writing Workshop. This model collaborative program, uses the tools of writing to link area children with the historical and cultural resources of this World Heritage Site. A Teachers' Workshop explores the philosophy and methods of the Children's Writing Workshop so that teachers may conduct their own writing workshops with their students here at Aztec Ruins.

Children’s Writing Workshop
Since 1997 we have run writing programs at Aztec Ruins for area third through fifth graders. Students spend a day exploring the Monument, and taking field notes on their observations. They then work with an artist in residence to render their vision of the place in art, photography, and/or in writing. Art and writing from this project have been displayed for public viewing at the Farmington Civic Center and the New Mexico State Fair. School groups from Farmington, Bloomfield, Kirtland, Aztec, and Zuni have taken part in this exciting place-based education program. Read sample stories and view artwork by past participants.

Our program objectives relate to these New Mexico State Language Arts Content Standards & Benchmarks:

Language Arts: vocabulary/ linguistic skills; critical thinking skills; reading completed work to an audience; rules of spoken/written language; using language/story across cultures.

Art: making art to understand elements of art; exploring materials, techniques, processes in solving art problems; explore similarities and differences between visual arts and other arts disciplines; explore the influence of personal experience, imagination and the dynamics of culture in creating art.

At this time we offer the program each year to four groups of 3rd through 5th grade students from area elementary schools. In the writing workshop, students work with children's writer in residence Uma Krishnaswami. Uma offers a brief orientation to fiction writing, and on using the senses to construct setting in stories. They also tour the site with a traditional presenters who share a personal perspective. The presenters may relate stories, anecdotes, and information that highlight the meaning that this palce holds for them and also for other present-day Pueblo peoples of the Southwest.

Program Activities

Application (MS Word)

Examples of Writing

Examples of Artwork

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Mailing Address:

725 Ruins Road
Aztec, NM 87410


(505) 334-6174 x0

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