Writing activity centers: Part 3
Writing activity centers are a great way to reinforce the formal composition skills you’re teaching in your curriculum. They’ll give your kids more practice writing in a fun, relaxed setting. Today’s post, the third in our series, offers more great ideas for inspiring your young writers.
Rain Forest Review
Collect a basket of items related to the world’s rain forests: nonfiction books, magazines, posters, and advocacy materials. Have the children read and browse through these materials, learning more about the importance of rainforests. Ask each child to write a simple paragraph or two about their discoveries, complete with illustrations, and share their knowledge with family members.
It’s a Wonderful Life!
Provide small construction paper booklets. On each page, have younger children draw pictures of the very special events in their lives. Ask them to write a few sentences to accompany each picture.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Fill a basket or box with recent local and national newspapers. Read through a number of articles together for ideas on the content and format of news stories. Provide newsprint, colored pencils, and colored paper. With your children, create a family newspaper. Mail it to Grandma!
Vocabulary Web Contests
In the middle of a large sheet of paper, write a single noun, accompanied by an illustration. On the paper, each child takes turns writing down words that describe or are associated with the noun. For example, the word in the middle might be strawberry. Children would add words to the poster like tasty, red, squishy, snack, fruit, sweet, soft, or ice cream. The more words, the better!
Provide a number of reader’s theater scripts for your children to read aloud, practicing oral expression and fluency. Choose a favorite script and continue the further adventures of the characters, writing the next act. For free scripts and ideas, start here:
- Reader’s Theater Scripts and Plays
- The Reading Lady – Dozens of downloadable scripts
- Reader’s Theater Tips and Scripts
Encourage regular independent reading of novels and small chapter books. set aside a day each week to write and draw in special journals about the books your kids have chosen for “fun” reading.
Sell the Sequel!
Plan, draft, and write a sequel to a favorite novel. Which characters will appear in the sequel? What’s the new plot?
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Janet Wagner is a regular contributor to In Our Write Minds. For over two decades, Janet was an elementary and middle school teacher in two Christian academies, a public district school, and a public charter school. She also had the honor of helping to homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband Dean live on the family farm in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina. Currently, she enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, writing, tutoring students and training dogs, and learning how to build websites. You can view her web work-in-progress at www.creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com.
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