Entries Tagged 'Holiday & Seasonal Ideas' ↓

Apple theme word banks for fall writing

Apple-themed word banks for fun fall writing projects!

EVERY fall, children love collecting leaves, acorns, squash, and especially pumpkins to decorate hearths, mantels, and dining room tables.

It’s the perfect time of year to add seasonal flair to your writing lessons, too! Once your children have finished collecting bits of nature, encourage them to come inside, warm up rosy cheeks and fingers, and collect words for an apple-themed word bank. 

Word lists (such as our popular fall-inspired word bank) can inspire young writers to create seasonal acrostic poems, stories based on outdoor field trips, or other pieces of descriptive writing. This week, help your kids appreciate the richness of autumn harvest time with a word bank of apple theme words. The one we’ve created below should help you get started:

Apple Theme Word Bank

Here’s a list of vocabulary words that focus on apple-picking, hay rides, and fall fun in the orchard! Let this word bank inspire your kids to write poems and stories.

autumn, harvest, farm, orchard, tree, leaves, bag, basket, bushel, crate, wheelbarrow, wagon, hay bale, horse, cart, ladder, barn, farmstand, farmer’s market, cider press, apple peeler

Gala, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Winesap, York, Pink Lady, Cortland, Crispin, Empire, Rome Beauty, Honey Crisp, crab apple

skin, peel, core, seeds, stem, slices, juicy, sweet, tart, sour, red, crimson, pink, blush, yellow, gold, green, firm, fresh, crisp, crunchy, soft, mushy, mealy, plump, ripe, round, shiny, smooth, bruised, polished

pie, turnover, tart, cobbler, strudel, crumble, caramel, cinnamon, muffins, apple cider, apple juice, applesauce, apple butter, apple chips, apple-cider vinegar

gather, pick, collect, climb, reach, grasp, peel, cut, slice, bake, simmer, mix, stir, heap, pile, press, scoop, dip

Make Your Own Word Bank

As a writing warm-up, your kids can build their own apple season word banks. This will not only stretch vocabularies and reinforce spelling skills, but also help overcome writer’s block.

Guide younger children to create a word bank collage:

  • Gather glossy photos from fall magazines. (Cooking magazines are an excellent choice.)
  • Set up a fun workspace with cardstock, scissors, and glue sticks.
  • Choose a theme for each collage, such as “Apple Farm,” “Baking with Apples,” or “Apple Desserts.”
  • As you children arrange their collages, help them write several words around each picture—at least one noun, one verb, and one adjective.
  • Display these colorful word banks in a prominent place!

Apple-Themed Writing Days

If you feel inspired, why not spice up fall writing days with apple flavors and activities? The ideas are endless, but here are just a few:

Writing Activities Using the Apple Theme Word Bank

  • Give each child an apple and ask them to describe its appearance, color, and texture. Next, have them take a bite and describe its aroma, flavor, and the texture of its flesh.
  • Describe a real or imagined trip to an apple farm. What will you see and do?
  • Explain the process of making an apple dessert from start to finish.

Apple Basket

Writing Rewards

[Affiliate links in this post are for products we personally use or feel confident recommending for your family.]

  • Let your kids celebrate the end of a writing project by bobbing for apples. If you’re feeling casual, try the old-fashioned method with apples floating in a tub of cold water. For a larger group, tie apples to strings and hang them from a patio cover. Be sure to take lots of pictures while your kids try to get their first bite—it’s harder than it sounds!
  • Play a rousing game of Apples to Apples!
  • Make Laurie’s caramel apples! For a quicker snack option, serve apple slices with a bowl of warm caramel sauce, and let the kiddos dip away.
  • While the family enjoys tasty apple treats, take turns reading aloud the true story of Johnny Appleseed.

WriteShop Blog--In Our Write MindsDaniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna and a graduate of Hillsdale College. She and her husband fill their home with books on writing, literature, and computer science. Daniella also blogs at www.waterlilywriter.com.

Photos:  Jennifer Boyer (orchard), Shane McGraw (first bite), Sarah Hicks (basket), Scot Martin (child’s hand), & bigbirdz (apple basket) courtesy of Creative Commons

Fall picture writing prompts

These fall picture writing prompts will stir your kids' imagination!

GATHER ’round the table and let creativity bubble over with our fall picture writing prompts! For a change of pace, these journal prompts are inspired by interesting photos that will stir your child’s soul or spark flights of literary fancy!

Autumn Walk

Is this an ordinary walk in the woods, or does an adventure await you over the crest of the hill? Who (or what) is watching you from the trees?

These fall picture writing prompts will stir your kids' imagination!

The Furry Messenger

You’re exploring in the woods with your best friend when a chipmunk suddenly jumps up on a rock and starts shouting a warning! What is it saying? Are you in danger? What will you do? What will you discover? What will happen to you?

These fall picture writing prompts will stir your kids' imagination!

Fairy Secrets

Use at least four of these words to tell a story about this photo: forest, explore, mushroom, fairies, fog, door, stairs, secret, ancient, lock, book

These fall picture writing prompts will stir your kids' imagination!

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photos: davharuk, Nina Stawski, & Brenda Clarke, courtesy of Creative Commons.

Summer writing prompts

summer writing prompts, summer journal prompts

WRITING will be a breeze when your kids pick from our list of summer writing prompts. After they’ve captured the sights of the season on paper, don’t forget to share a cold drink or frozen treat!

1. Umbrellas and Ice Cream and Sunscreen (oh my!)

Write a story using at least four of the following words and phrases: beach umbrella, Sahara desert, ice cream stand, teacup, ice cube, lion, sunscreen.

2. Make a Splash

What could be better than a day at the lake? Write about three water sports or activities you would like to try on a lakeside vacation.

3. Cricket Lullaby

Do you lie awake on summer nights, listening to waves crash against the shore? Do you watch for fireflies through an open window, while breathing in the humid air? Make a word bank filled with nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that remind you of summer nights.

4. Ripe, Plump & Juicy

Think of your favorite summer fruit. Is it a luscious peach, a succulent strawberry, or a massive melon? Write a list of instructions for preparing and eating this fruit, beginning with how to buy it. Do you drive to the store, walk to a fruit stand, or reach into the branches of a backyard tree?

5. Sky High Rides & Blue-Ribbon Pies

Describe the atmosphere of a county fair. Include the tastes of the fair food, the smells of the livestock, the sounds of the stage shows, and the feel of riding the Ferris wheel (or another favorite ride).

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo: Will Ockenden, courtesy of Creative Commons.

Patriotic 4th of July Journal Prompts

Independence Day journal topics, patriotic writing prompts, 4th of July journal prompts

OH, say, can you write about Independence Day? Inspire family members young and old to ponder America’s founding with these 4th of July journal prompts.

1. Our Lives, Our Fortunes, & Our Sacred Honor

For more than a century, American colonists governed themselves according to conscience. Finally, in July 1776, fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Yet, they knew that freedom with self-government could cost their earthly fortunes and even their very lives. Write about a time when you were self-governed and followed your conscience, even though no one else told you the right thing to do.

2. The War for Independence: Eight Long Years

On December 19, 1777, George Washington and his Continental Army arrived at their winter camp site in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The discouraged army now faced a hard winter filled with disease and hunger. Imagine you are a patriot soldier at Valley Forge, with no shoes or blanket to call your own. Write about three reasons you will stay with General Washington instead of deserting the army.

3. No Tyrants Allowed

In 1787, the Framers of the Constitution of the United States instituted a wise system of government: Three branches of government–executive, legislative, and judicial–would ensure that powers remained divided, with a pattern of checks and balances. Compare and contrast a government of divided powers with a government of one absolute ruler.

4. Calling All Architects!

In 1792, Thomas Jefferson announced a design contest for the United States Capitol building. What would your entry have looked like? Draw your most impressive design for a Capitol building, and write a paragraph explaining the style and materials you have chosen.

5. You’re a Grand Old Flag

It’s 1837 and you live on a sprawling farm in the new state of Michigan. Write a letter to a friend and share your excitement over the new U.S. flag with a 26th star for Michigan. The flag will be official on July 4, 1837!

6. E Pluribus Unum

In 1873, an Act of Congress required the Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) to appear on all U.S. coins. Only eight years had passed since a devastating Civil War had ended with our nation still united as one. Today, as then, Americans have many differences but much in common. Write about two of these differences, and two things we all share.

7. Wings Like Eagles

The bald eagle has long been an emblem of the United States of America. The eagle can remind us of Isaiah 40:31, which says:

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Do you believe that nations and people who fear God and His laws will have new strength? Why or why not?

Hope you enjoy these 4th of July journal prompts. Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo: Drew Myers, courtesy of Creative Commons.

7 Father’s Day journal prompts

Father's Day, journal prompts, writing prompts

Whether writing the inside of a card for Dad, or journaling about the special man in their life, your kids are sure to find inspiration with these Father’s Day journal prompts. From our family to yours, happy Father’s Day!

1. Remember When?

What is your earliest memory of your dad? Use your five senses to describe the people and items in the scene.

2. Ask Dad

What was the best piece of advice your father ever gave you? Write about the effect his words and example have had on your life.

3. Perfect Fit

Choose one item to describe your dad. Is it a saxophone? Mechanical pencil? Bicycle? Hammer? Camp stove? Write about why you chose this item to represent him.

4. Shh! It’s a Surprise!

If you could plan a surprise vacation for Dad, what would it be like? Who would go on this trip, and where would they go? Describe the kind of hotel (or tent) your dad would stay in and the activities he would do.

5. Way, Way Back, Many Centuries Ago…

Do you have a photo of your dad when he was  your age? Describe his appearance in the photo, including his clothing styles and facial expression. Explain the action he was doing when someone clicked the camera.

6. Any Dream Will Do

What is your father’s vision for his family? What are his goals for his marriage and his dreams for his children? If you’re not sure, sit down and ask him. Write down his answers and ways your family can work together to make these dreams a reality.

7. Thank You

Write about why you are grateful to have a father in your life. Include at least three reasons you’re thankful for him!

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo: Chris Parfitt, courtesy of Creative Commons.

10 Mother’s Day writing prompts

Mother's Day writing prompts, Mother's Day journal prompts

WRITING WARM-UPS are always a good idea, even more so at this cherished time of year. These Mother’s Day writing prompts will draw your family together and set pens and pencils in motion!

Descriptive Mother’s Day Writing Prompts

1. Do you notice any similarities between your mother and your grandmother? Describe the personality traits, character qualities, or physical attributes they share.

2. Describe a piece of jewelry that your mother always wears. What makes this piece of jewelry so special to her?

3. Describe a talent, interest, or hobby that makes your mother different from every other mom you know.

4. Think of your mother’s voice when she sings a special song or shares a favorite verse with you. Write three similes for her voice at these times. Is it as soft as a summer wind or as musical as choir of bells?

5. Describe your mother’s decorating style. Use your best adjectives, and include the senses of sight, smell, and touch.

6. Write a color poem to describe your mother. Choose a color, and write three or four similes comparing your mother to things of that color, such as: 

“My Mother Is Yellow”

My mother’s face is as bright as the mid-day sun.

She holds her head high, like a bold sunflower.

Her heart is as cheerful as a field of yellow daisies.

My mother is a treasure, like shiny nuggets of gold.

Other Mother’s Day Writing Prompts

1. Does your mother have a nickname for you? Where did she get that name?

2. Is there a story behind your mother’s name? Ask her why she received her first and middle names. Does she have a nickname?

3. What do you think a perfect day for your mother would be like? Write about one thing you could do to help make that wonderful, imaginary day become a reality.

4. What do you think it means to have a beautiful heart?

 

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo © Karah Fredricks. Used by permission.

 

More Mother’s Day writing activities

Mother's Day writing activities, acrostic poems, writing prompts, and card ideas children can make for Mom on her special day.

I’m guest blogging over at Home Educating Family, offering some Mother’s Day writing activities. Join me?

Whether it’s delivering breakfast in bed or creating a handmade card, your children’s hearts are filled up with you, their mama—and on your special day, they can’t wait to present you with their sweet offerings.

Many children, especially younger ones, are eager to bless you on Mother’s Day with something they’ve created themselves, but let’s be honest. Without guidance and direction, it probably won’t happen.

Take advantage of the days leading up to this celebratory Sunday. Why not set out a box of paper, writing tools, and craft supplies and encourage your children to write or create something special for you? They can fashion a crafty gift, write a sentimental letter or poem, or design a pretty card. No matter what they come up with, you’ll be one grateful and happy mom . . .

Read the complete article here and share these Mother’s Day writing activities with your family. Hope they take the bait and shower you with loving words and handmade cards on your special day!

For additional ideas, see last year’s Mother’s Day Writing Activities.

Copyright 2013 © by Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

The heart of Easter: 4 meaningful writing prompts

Easter Writing Prompts, Easter Journal Prompts

THIS WEEK, we hope you and your students will take time to reflect on the true meaning and joy of the season. Have a blessed Easter!

1. The First Easter

Imagine you have traveled back in time to the day Jesus rose from the grave. Describe what you might observe, experience, and feel. You may use your Bible to help you remember parts of the Easter story.

2. A New Commandment

In His life and death, Jesus taught us to love our enemies. Write about three ways you could show love to someone who hurts you or treats you wrongly.

3. Winter is Past

Signs of new life are everywhere in springtime! Describe something in nature that reminds you of Christ’s resurrection. A butterfly emerging from a cocoon, new leaves unfolding on a tree, and animals coming out of hibernation are possible ideas.

4. It’s a Miracle

Miracles and stories of hope are all around us. Do you remember Easter Sunday in 2009, when a ship captain was rescued from pirates who had held him hostage? Write about a miracle you hope to see this Easter, or a miracle your family has experienced in the past.

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo: Jim & Rachel McArthur, courtesy of Creative Commons.

Fresh spring writing prompts your kids will love

writing prompts, journal prompts, flowers, rain, picnics

TODAY IS the first day of spring … and it’s the perfect time for children to fill their writing notebooks with the sights, smells, and sounds of the season!

1. If I Were a Daisy…

Choose any flower to describe yourself. Which did you choose and why?

2. Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Write about three things you could do on a rainy day.

3. A Bug’s Life

Imagine that your family has planned a picnic in the park. Describe this picnic from an insect’s point of view.

4. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers

It’s time to put your storytelling skills to work! Write a story using at least three of the following words: hen, egg, chick, airplane, goggles, parachute, hang glider, seeds.

5. Begin Again

Spring is a time of new beginnings. What advice would you give to a friend who has made mistakes in the past but wants to start fresh in life?

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Brrr! Writing prompts from the top of Big Snow Mountain

Winter Writing Prompts, Mountains, Snow, Snowboarding, Skiing, Journal Prompts

Before the last snows of winter melt, treat your students to writing exercises that will leave them shivering in their boots!

1. Extreme Sports

If you could spend a day in the mountains, would you rather go skiing, snowboarding, or rock climbing? Explain your answer.

2. Hibernating in Style

It’s official! Your cabin is open for business as a winter resort for mountain animals. Describe three of the furry guests at your resort, and some of their favorite vacation activities.

3. On a Dark and Stormy Night

Write a story that includes these words: avalanche, blindfold, and snow globe.

4. Everest Expedition

At 8,850 meters (or 29,035 feet) above sea level, Mount Everest is the highest mountain on earth. If you wanted to climb Mt. Everest on your 21st birthday, what steps would you take to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and financially?

5. Flying High

You have finally earned your pilot’s license, and today you are flying solo over a snow-capped mountain range. Describe your thoughts and feelings as you soar above this pristine landscape.

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photo: TRAILSOURCE.com, courtesy of Creative Commons.
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