Last week of July. My kids are starting to get the Back-to-School Blues. Then again, they’re sort of excited to see all their friends. Either way, here are some writing activities for you and your kids.
Pre-K Crowd: At this age, telling stories and reading together is a terrific way to develop a love of reading and words. Interactive books with flaps, books without words where you make up stories together–These are sure winners at this age. Take turns “reading” and making up stories with your youngest.
Grade K-1: These little guys are bursting to read. They will pretend read any book you give them. They usually make themselves sound very important when they do–after all, they’re reading a book! Spider magazine often has great stories that you can read with them. Ladybug will have poems and stories they may be able to read on their own. Once you have the story read, ask some questions about what happened. Mix up the order and see if your child sets you straight. You’re working to have your children learn that stories occur in a sequence with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Grade 2: This group gets their own set of activities because they are either successfully reading and excited to write, or successfully reading and avoiding writing at all costs. Part of the issue is that they are old enough to understand that a prompt is a question they need to answer. They are also old enough to be a bit confused about the answer. For instance, ask a 2nd grader to tell you about their favorite food and the next thing you know you’re hearing about the day your child spent at the beach. It is marginally related to a favorite food, but somehow the train of thought jumped the track. With this group, it often works well to give them a prompt–something like “My favorite thing to do it,” and then have them tell you the thing and list three details about it. Do that until they can give you the details without hesitation.
Grades 3-5: These kids have mastered reading and are comfortable with writing. They’re ready to write you full one to three paragraph essays, depending upon the kid. Start simple. Give them a prompt and ask for one detailed paragraph. If that’s not a struggle, ask for a paragraph about each detail. If they can do that, add an opening paragraph and a closing paragraph. So your child will be writing a one-paragraph, a three-paragraph, or a five-paragraph essay in answer to your prompt. Just be patient. This is harder than it looks!
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