August has begun. Just got back from UGA – Go Bulldawgs! – with my oldest. The other two are alternately looking forward to and dreading high school. Both have recently taken cooking classes so we’re eating very well! Meanwhile, here are some writing activities for you and your kids.
Pre-K Crowd: The preschool crowd! A quirky group if ever there was one. Some of them love to draw. Some of them insist they can write. Others are into the “me dood it” stage, while others are content to be waited upon like mini-royalty. No matter which you have in your house, they are all easily intrigued by a novel idea. Since you’re working on getting this group to understand that stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, this is the perfect audience for some sequencing work. You can buy story blocks or sets and use those, or you can create some on your own. All you need to do is take some pictures that can be used to tell a story and glue them to cardboard or some other stiff material. Then you have your child put them in order and tell you what’s happening. The pictures can come from online or from your photo album. They can tell the story of baking a cake, going fishing, feeding the ducks … It’s up to you. Give it a try. It’s fun.
Grade K-1: It’s almost time for these kids to head off to school. Why not send them off with some added confidence? Make some cards with information your child knows. It could be his/her name, the name of siblings or pets, the name of your street… Chances are good your child can read at least some of these already. Have your child read them aloud. If they scoff at how simple it is, add a card that says “My” and another that says “name” and another that says “is.” They can now read a sentence. Keep it simple. To keep him/her engaged, you might also want to read a rubric–a story with pictures for words that are unfamiliar to your child. Highlights usually has at least one rubric a month. There are books with rubrics at the library. You can create your own rubric story using photos of family members an familiar places. Just relax and have fun,
Grade 2: This group is generally ready for an adventure. They are reading a bit, usually, and feeling pretty powerful. They’re on the way to second grade. What precisely that means to each child differs widely. You’ve got your worriers who aren’t sure they’re going to like it and are concerned their friends won’t be with them. You’ve got your big shots who are ready to run the place. You’ve got your middle ground kids who don’t want to miss any fun but would just as soon stay home. So why not make up a story about school. A happy story in with the child meets new friends in class, old friends on the bus and playground, and has adventures after school. You can make up a bit each night, using it as a way to address concerns without making a bit deal out of them. Your child can write part of the story, do some illustrations, and you can sew or staple it together into a book.
Grades 3-5: Nearly time to head back to school. Kids this age are a social bunch. The main concern is wether or not there will be friends in the same class. Several times my kids managed to have no friends — yes. not a single one — in his/her class. Talk about a crisis! So have your child write to a couple of prompts about expectation. Or – you can have your child work with you to devise a secret code to write to friends in other classes, with the expectation that the notes will not be passed until after school each day.
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