From wordless books to favorite novels, your kids’ reading can provide a springboard to book-themed writing activities. This week, let them take journaling inspiration from literature with these writing prompts about books.
1. You Have to Read This Book!
Some books are like best pals: we never get tired of spending time with them! Think of such a book—one you love to read again and again. Then, persuade a friend to read this book by making a list of 6-10 reasons why it’s so appealing.
2. They’ve Got Personality
Have you ever thought about writing a novel? If so, you probably already have ideas about the characters you might include!
Write a paragraph that describes your main character. Include details about this character’s appearance, personality traits, likes or dislikes, and a surprising or interesting fact about his or her background. If you get stuck thinking of words, here are some ideas for describing a person.
3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The protagonist in a fictional story is often called the “good guy,” while the antagonist—the character who opposes the protagonist—is known as the “bad guy.”
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for instance, Aslan is the protagonist and the evil White Witch is the antagonist. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the protagonist, of course, is Alice, who finds herself at odds with the cruel Queen of Hearts.
Choose a protagonist from a favorite book. Explain how this character’s behavior and positive character qualities inspire respect or admiration. Then, think of an antagonist (from the same book or a different one) and explain what makes this character unlikable.
4. No Words
Find a wordless book—one that has mostly pictures and no (or very few) words. Write a story to go along with each page in the book. It will help to ask yourself what is happening in the picture, how each character might feel, and what might happen next. Feel free to give the characters names!
If you have younger siblings, you probably have some wordless books lying around. For starters, consider:
Good Night, Gorilla
The Red Book
If you don’t have any wordless books at home, visit the library and look for one of the shorter books on this excellent list of 10 wordless books.
Looking for more ways to engage your kids with books? Writing About Books: Book Reports and Beyond offers loads of ideas that get kids talking and writing about the books they’re reading, from the earliest picture books to high-school level novels.
It also includes printable reading logs for all ages, book-themed journal prompts, and other creative ideas to encourage children and teens to respond to literature. Sprinkle them into your weekly reading and writing lessons and watch your children make more meaningful connections with the books they read.