From the mouths of babes: Pre-literacy writing

Alexis Bonari is joining me today as a guest blogger here at In Our Write Minds. I know you’ll enjoy trying this activity with your pre-writers.

On the path to inspiring our children to love reading and writing, we often overlook the fact that there was a time when stories were generated as oral traditions.

Stories were created and then passed down through the generations without the use of written language. Our modern writing and story-telling techniques were inspired by these traditions.

Even before our children are of an age to read or write, they have stories to tell. They often regale us with tales of how their day was spent, or will imagine elaborate adventures starring their favorite fictional character or stuffed animal.

Tap into that creative energy and follow these simple steps to help them develop their own fictional work.

What you’ll need

  • An audio recorder
  • A variety of art materials: construction paper, glue, markers, magazines with pictures and scissors to cut them out, etc.

Steps to creating a masterpiece

1. Brainstorm.

Tell them that you’re going to help them author their own book. Then, help them brainstorm ideas for a story. Write the ideas down on a piece of paper. Help them develop a rudimentary outline. Don’t direct too much. Let them develop their own concept.

2. Write the book.

Get out the recorder and record them telling their new story. Play it back once and let them make any changes they want. Then, get out the construction paper, separate the story into sections, and copy it onto the paper. (Discuss ahead of time what type of pictures they might want for each section so you can organize the book as you go. If they want to add more pictures or change things up, go with it.)

3. Decorate and design!

Help them use the art supplies to draw/paste pictures into the book. Design a cover or chapters if you want. Pretty much anything goes.

If you encourage your children to develop their story-telling skills early, writing will come easily to them. Writing is really about conveying information in a clear manner. Learning this process can be a fun experience for everyone!

Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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