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. Here’s the second post in our four-part series.
Mold and sculpt figurines from modeling clay or dough. When they’re finished, write five words or phrases describing the figures.
Family Poetry Jam
Place books of poetry in a basket for examples and inspiration. Supply paper, pencils, and colored markers for your children to write poems about family members, topics of study, or any subject they wish. Use other poems as a guide or invent new formats. When finished, dim the lights, spread out comfortable pillows on the floor, and host a poetry reading. Serve milk and cookies!
[Kim says: Looking for a great poetry resource? The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has been our family's favorite. Compiled by Jack Prelutsky, this anthology is a delightful collection of both classic and contemporary poems children love. My own well loved copy has literally fallen apart!]
The Further Adventures of…
Collect a set of picture books with interesting, appealing characters. Read a book aloud, and then continue the story on paper, with additional adventures of a favorite character. Create imaginary illustrations and colorful covers for these new tales.
Order, Order, Please!
Provide envelopes of pre-written sentence strips, each envelope containing the lines of a familiar poem. Have the kids work together to read the sentences and figure out the correct sequence of each poem. Provide copies of the poems for the kids to check their efforts.
Each child writes sentences on construction paper. Using a variety of pasta shapes such as elbow macaroni, orzo, and linguini, have the kids glue on the “punctuation” where necessary. The children should incorporate all the punctuation marks they’ve been taught to this point: periods, question marks, commas, quotation marks, exclamation marks, and/or apostrophes.
How Do You Do It?
Ask your children to think of experiences they’ve had in which they’ve learned to do something all by themselves. Perhaps it was the first time they rode a bike without training wheels, learned to tie their shoes, or did the laundry on their own. Ask them to write a set of directions teaching someone else how to do this specific action. Illustrate the directions to provide more details. Then, have each child “teach” another child using his or her instructional page.
“I’m Thinking of…”
Each child writes a very specific description of an object nearby, whether in the living room, kitchen, etc., without actually naming the object itself. When finished, read the descriptions aloud and see who can identify the items described.
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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.