Children's Writing - How To Support It.
Everyday Opportunities to Support Children's Writing
Children's writing skills can be encouraged at home as well as school. There are many opportunities for ‘real life’ writing within the family’s everyday activities.
You could ensure that your children have access to a small desk or table space at which they can sit and practise their writing and a box or shelf containing some or all of the following:
- a variety of pens, pencils, crayons and textas
- a pencil sharpener, ruler, glue stick and eraser
- a range of lined and plain white and coloured paper – papers of differing textures could be included for variety
- packs of stickers that they can use to decorate their pages when writing
- lightweight cardboard that can be folded to create a greeting card – keep your old greeting cards for children to cut up and use again when creating their own new cards
- create a picture file by cutting pictures from magazines then these can be used to enhance children’s greeting cards, or as a stimulus to writing a story about a picture, or to illustrate their writing – the pictures can be stored in Snaplock plastic bags or plastic sleeves in a ring-binder folder until required. The bags or sleeves can be labelled according to the themes of the pictures eg animals, plants, buildings, toys, everyday objects etc
- blank exercise books, scrapbooks, or small books that can be made up by stapling several pages of blank paper together – a cover for these can be made by using lightweight cardboard and decorating with the children’s own artwork, pictures from magazines, photographs or computer-generated images. They can use these small books to create their own picture books in which they write and illustrate their own stories. Illustrations may be their own artwork, or pictures from magazines, stickers, or a combination of resources
- purchased stationery, postcards, envelopes and stamps so children can undertake real-life writing activities such as writing a letter to a friend or relative
- a personal diary, shopping list pads and telephone message pads so children can do further real-life writing activities
- an alphabet chart and a number chart
- having a writing desk close to children’s reading books allows them to use their reading books as a stimulus for their own writing
- access to a wide range of books to read provides a source for learning ‘story language’ and ‘information language’ for children to attempt to write a story or an information text eg about spiders, weather etc or any topic that interests them
- your children’s toys and a dress up box can provide stimulus for their writing too as they develop characters and write stories about them
- access to a computer provides another means of writing for your children as they can use a word processing program to type their stories and illustrate them using graphics creation software, slip art or photographs have may have taken themselves
- access to the internet provides a number of websites that will engage children and encourage children's writing:
- Scholastic StoryStarters
A free, interactive website on which children can choose a story starters theme (adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, or scrambler), sign in, then press each button and the wheels will spin to allow them to choose:
- the type of story
- a description for the character
- a character
- a scenario for the story
eg Describe a very unusual day for a snoopy explorer who blasts tunnels underground
They can change each of the parts by pressing the buttons again until they are happy with the combination and then write their own story (they do not write it on the website)
- Young Writers
This website contains a description and examples of 33 types of poems. Children and older students who are interested in writing poetry will find this resource invaluable.
Grammar Ninja is a game made by a high school student and supervised by a high school English teacher. This is not meant to be a professional effort (but it is) and kids love playing it.