Let’s face it. Learning a new skill is hard work. For an elementary school student, learning to write requires practice, practice and more practice. It involves worksheets, workbooks, spelling and grammar. With a little thought, we can turn that into fun, fun and more fun.
Yes, it’s important to learn the rules of writing, but it’s also important to let kids see how much fun it is.
Here are three ideas to turn reluctant writers into enthusiastic wordsmiths.
1. Does your child love arts and crafts? After creating her own characters and writing a couple of sentences describing them, she can illustrate them. Using yarn and buttons, she can glue on hair and eyes. The hair can be long, short, curly or straight and whatever color she wants. Look at all of the adjectives there are to choose from. Try to set realistic goals such as writing two sentences or three adjectives.
2. Does your child love action heroes? Let him create his own. The sky is the limit here. He can stretch his imagination as he decides which special powers to give his creation. Can he fly? Time travel? See in the back of his head? The possibilities are endless. Of course, no superhero would be complete without an illustration. You can cut out fabric swatches from old clothes and glue them on construction paper to create a superhero costume. Just make sure to include a few lines on the bottom of the page for writing.
3. What about the setting? When you create the characters you also get to decide where to put them. Are they going to live on the moon? Way up high in a skyscraper? In the mountains? Playdoh is perfect here. Take a piece of construction paper and draw a horizontal line in the middle. With a ruler and pencil, draw a couple of lines on the bottom. This is for using words to describe the setting. The top half is to create a three dimensional world with playdoh. Write one sentence for each different color of playdoh.
Writing is like drawing a picture with words. When children understand that they can create with words just like they can create with crayons, they will have a lot more fun writing. By putting some of the arts into language arts, you can encourage creativity and writing at the same time. Make sure your artist and illustrator signs his or her creations.