Punctuation Hunt

punctuationhunt2

Punctuation is  a very important part of writing. And for some kids, it can be a bit hard to master. Sure, a period goes at the end of a sentence, but those commas can be tricky. I wanted my beginning writers to start noticing punctuation marks and see examples of correct usage, so I sent them on a punctuation hunt. I grabbed an old magazine that was headed for the … [Read more...]

Collaborative Story Writing for Kids (in the Digital Age)

collaborative storytelling for kids

Our teenage babysitter gave us the BEST writing idea -- and my kids took off with it! A Collaborative Email Story Writing Idea In a collaborative story, each person takes turns telling the part of the story. 1. Pick the Writers Invite trusted friends, babysitters, or family members to write the story with you. If your kids have email like mine do, be sure that you … [Read more...]

15 Ways for Kids to Learn New Vocabulary

how to learn vocabulary words

Fluent readers need a big vocabulary. The more words a child knows, the better reader and writer he is. (Anderson and Freebody, 1981; Graves, 1986; Stahl, 1998) (DOE, NAEP, 2011) So it's up to us as parents to help our children develop a large vocabulary. The best way to learn new words is to use them, play with them, listen to them, and apply them. While it is possible … [Read more...]

Storytelling Activities for Kids

Storytelling Play

Storytelling activities allows children to stretch their thinking and imaginations. Here are more storytelling activities and ideas to inspire word play, storytelling, and writing. Storytelling Play Activities for Kids 1. Haikubes  Haikubes are meant to inspire haiku but we use them to make silly sentences and start stories. They make a great centerpiece for the dinner … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Improving your Child’s Handwriting Skills

ips for Teaching Kids Handwriting

Teaching children handwriting is so important, even though it's complex and often challenging. Why? Because you don't want them to develop bad habits that are hard to break and lead to problems down the road. I have worked with children from the earliest age of three to help them start to understand the basics of handwriting. Having kids of my own and a background in … [Read more...]

Storytelling Games That Will Get Your Kids Thinking Out of the Box

storyplay cards 3

Here are three delightfully engaging storytelling games to try with your kids: The Storymatic Kids!, Rory's Story Cubes, and StoryPlay Cards. When I teach kids how to write stories, we generally start out loud. In other words, we think, plan, and share orally before writing silently. Of course, not all kids are oral processers but sharing out loud helps organize our thoughts … [Read more...]

Will Wreck This Journal Everywhere Get Your Kids Writing?

Wreck This Journal

I'm always trying to motivate my kids to write. I've introduced Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal Everywhere (affiliate link), a take-with-you compact book of writing prompts and activities. It's a fun little book that sparks creative thinking and wonderment. Do you think your kids need extra urging to write, too? Wreck This Journal Everywhere They might just enjoy Wreck … [Read more...]

Warning: Harry Potter Fanfiction Gets Kids Writing (A Lot)

fanfiction

It's time to introduce your kids who are fans of Harry Potter to writing fanfiction. Why? Because it gets them writing and stretching their imaginations. Both very good things. Oh, and did I mention it's tons of fun? Especially if you write with your friends. What is fanfiction, or fanfic? Fanfiction is fiction written by fans of the original works that takes … [Read more...]