“Write a story about celebrating Christmas.”
Seems easy enough, right? But to your struggling writer, this kind of assignment is not only unhelpful, it’s also fear-inducing—for the simple reason that it’s just too vague.
Write a Story Using the 5 Ws
All children—but especially reluctant writers—benefit from a blueprint that lets them know what’s expected and how to achieve their goal. Teaching your homeschoolers to write a story using the 5 Ws—who, what, when, where, why (and also how)—helps kids organize their thoughts before writing. It’s a great brainstorming tool that alleviates the insecurity of writer’s block and encourages more fluent writing.
A Blueprint for Writing
Create a simple graphic organizer to help a young or reluctant child brainstorm, plan, organize, and eventually write their own story using the 5 Ws (and an H).
- Who celebrates Christmas with me?
- What things (activities) do we do? How do we celebrate? In what ways?
- When do we celebrate?
- Where do we celebrate?
- Why do I celebrate Christmas?
Make It Unique
Older, motivated, or more articulate children can also follow this plan, but instead of writing one paragraph, they can write a longer story by developing a new paragraph to answer each question.
And all children should know that it’s okay to rearrange the questions in the order they like best (for example, they might want to start out explaining why).
Use Word Banks
Your children will probably find it helpful to use word banks so they have a pool of vocabulary words available to them. These word banks are perfect for your homeschool:
- Christmas Word Bank: Jesus Is Born Words surrounding the birth of Jesus
- Christmas Word Banks: Ho, Ho, Ho! Non-religious holiday-themed words
Are you homeschooling elementary students? WriteShop can help you teach the 5 Ws in your writing lessons. Beginning in Book B, WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior weave the 5 Ws into many of the writing assignments. Easy peasy!
Sign up for the WriteShop list to get your free 33 printable word bank prompts.