Today’s sponsored post is written by my wonderful friend, Kim Kautzer, of WriteShop. Kim has been a tremendous encouragement to me as I have struggled to teach my children to write creatively. I know her ideas will help you too.
Does writing time always elicit moans and groans? Do the kids complain, “Writing is so-ooo boring!” or “Do we have to?” If so, you’ll love these fresh ideas for putting some fun into writing!
1. Create an Inviting Writing Center
What’s more inspiring to a young writer than her own colored pens and pencils, fancy paper, or stickers? A well-stocked writing center can spark imagination and encourage kids to love the written word. Stocked with the writing supplies and editing tools they need to write and publish, your writing center can be as small as a portable tote or as large as a niche in the room where you do most of your homeschooling.
2. Teach Writing Skills with Games
Hands-on activities and games help a child’s brain learn and remember new concepts. They teach him about important story elements and help him discover fresh ways to practice writing skills. Songs and motion activities especially appeal to young and kinesthetic learners.
- Toss the Pepperoni: Help young children recall key elements of a story such as characters and setting by playing this fun game!
- Friendly Letter Boogie: Get everyone moving (and giggling!) with an activity that helps them remember the parts of a letter.
- Hopscotch: With this oral activity, kids can practice adding details to the middle of a story as they advance along the hopscotch grid.
- Where in the World? This fun game helps older elementary students plan an exciting setting for an adventure story!
- Sentence-Building Game: Show older children and teens how to make their writing more lively and creative. This simple game teaches them to expand and add detail to short, uninteresting sentences.
3. Become Your Child’s Scribe
It’s not easy to move an original thought from brain to paper! A child may have an amazing idea in her mind, but it’s quite a complex process for that idea to travel through her arm and all the way to the pencil. Whether she worries about spelling and commas or grows weary from gripping her pencil, it won’t be long before that brilliant thought disappears into thin air.
But when children are free to express ideas without also feeling pressured to write, you’re in for fewer tears—and more smiles! Invite them to write the words they know while you write the ones they have trouble spelling. Take turns writing every other sentence. Or, just let them tell the whole story aloud while you act as their scribe. As their confidence grows, they can do more writing independently. Even older elementary kids benefit from this approach.
4. Encourage Crafty Drafts!
Sharing a crafty, creative final draft with a grandparent, neighbor, or even Dad makes writing more fun and meaningful. While publishing can be as simple as taping the story to a mat of colored paper, don’t overlook crafty ideas like these:
- Make a travel poster or brochure for an adventure story.
- Present a report on a three-panel display board.
- Try a flap book or flip book.
- Make an instant book.
- Create a decorative invitation or thank-you letter.
- Start a blog.
- Turn a story or report into a PowerPoint presentation.
5. Try a New Kind of Book Report
Ditch the traditional “this book is about” book report! Instead, let children tell about a favorite or recent book in a unique, fun way.
- Book Report in a Bag: Young children will enjoy roaming the house and yard with a paper bag, gathering objects that remind them of the story. Invite them to take out objects one at a time and tell how they relate to the book.
- Book Report Sandwich: Cut sandwich components from colored paper and make a mini book your child can sink his teeth into!
- Map It! Invite him to draw a map that shows all the places where the story took place. This is especially fun when it’s an imaginary setting.
- Book Facts: Lists are great for reluctant writers! Have your child list ten facts he learned from a nonfiction book. Make sure he writes in complete sentences and includes new details and information he learned by reading. Title it “Ten Facts about [Book Title].”
- Writing Prompts about Books: Using books as a springboard, kids can discuss characters’ personality traits, describe a main character, or persuade a friend to read a certain book.
Writing is all about words and ideas. When you add a bit of color and life to writing time to make it more fun, your kids may start declaring it their favorite activity of the day!
About Kim Kautzer
Wife to Jim and mom of three homeschool grads, Kim Kautzer loves to help parents feel more confident about teaching writing.
She is the creative director and publisher of WriteShop writing curriculum for K-high school. The Kautzers live in Southern California, where Kim tinkers with the Sunday crossword puzzle, buries her nose in good books, and plans vacations that may or may not include grandchildren.
Kim blogs about writing at writeshop.com/blog.
More About Using WriteShop
- Read how to use the WriteShop Homeschool Writing Program.
- Understand how to encourage non-handwriters to write creatively.
- See how to use WriteShop with an iPad at The Pelsers.
- Master how to make your children HATE writing with This Reading Mama.
- Create a writing center in a bag with Spell Outloud.
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