Help your child plan a funny story

Young children love humor! This brainstorming activity helps primary kids plan a funny story.

Don’t you just love watching your kids develop a sense of humor? I get such a kick out of the things my grandchildren find funny. I wish I could bottle up every silly story, expression, giggle, and laugh and save them for a rainy day!

Once children reach age six or seven, they’re ready to start having fun with humor in their writing. Even if your child is a bit on the serious side, here’s a brainstorming activity designed to help kids think about ideas for writing a funny story.

Advance Prep

Read some funny picture books together. Depending on your child’s age, you can find some great funny-bone ticklers out there!

Since your goal is simply to introduce humor in writing, use this time to read short books with simple yet humorous themes, even if your child’s reading level is more advanced. Here are a few suggestions:

Prepare a blank comic strip for your child to fill in by dividing a piece of computer paper into six equal blank squares to resemble a comic strip. Make the squares as large as possible, perhaps making two rows of three.

Draw a simple story web on a sheet of paper. Draw a circle in the middle and six lines extending out from the circle to resemble a web.

Brainstorm for a Humorous Story

If your child is not familiar with comic strips, show her some examples from the newspaper or www.comics.com.

1. Choose a main character. Ask your child to choose a main character for her funny story (animals, birds, or dinosaurs make good subjects).

2. Think of a story idea that features the main character. If your child can’t decide on an original funny story idea, encourage her to use an idea from a comic or humorous story she already knows.

3. Fill in the story web.

  • Write the topic in the center circle of the story web.
  • Write the details of the story on the story web. Gently prompt her to suggest the details by asking:

Who is the main character of this story?
What happened in the beginning of the story?
What happened next?
Tell me something really funny that happened.
How did the story end?

  • Write down ideas for a title on the story web.

Draw the Comic Strip

Your child will not need to do any writing for this activity.

  • Give her the blank comic strip you prepared. Ask her to draw one picture in each frame using the details from the story web.
  • Since this is the brainstorming stage, discourage her from drawing the pictures in detail. Simple stick figures are best.

 .  .  .  .  .

This is just one of the many fun and creative projects and activities WriteShop Primary uses to reinforce simple writing skills at the primary level. In Book B, children learn to write a funny story using the steps of the writing process, beginning with pre-writing and brainstorming and ending with a published final draft.

Photo: tanakawho, courtesy of Creative Commons.
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