Writing activities needn’t be a huge hassle! Read for more ideas.
I write with my personal children. They never fail to tell me I am “teachering” them, a word that I’m pretty sure means I’ve crossed over from parent to teacher. I just invent little activities that sure, might be teacher-ish. Sometimes, my lives blend together. Can I do that purposefully?
Today, I’m thinking through blogging, thinking about writing. I have two sides, as many of you do: parent and teacher. What can I use from the classroom with my own children, and what can I use from my children in my classroom?
Many writing activities from home will work in the classroom. These ideas work at home (with a bit of relaxation) and at school (with a bit more structure). I’ve actually used these “lessons” in my classroom and in my front yard.
Head outside, and try these writing activities for a bit of spark.
Use nature to tell a story.
Practice personification. Write a few sentences giving a tree feelings: how does the tree feel out in the sun all day? does the tree enjoy seeing different types of birds sitting on its branches? how does the tree feel when it snows?
Younger kids can trace leaves or assemble pieces of nature together. They are still telling a story, in an age appropriate way.
Assign different poetical devices to groups and see what students develop.
Play with sidewalk chalk!
The ideas are endless! With kiddos learning letters, they can trace or practice identification. Older kids can practice spelling.
With my students, we have outlined ideas and reviewed grammar concepts. Brainstorm with chalk and take pictures of the results.
For some reason, sidewalk chalk makes regular work feel like un-work.
Inspire with big pieces of paper.
I have purchased huge rolls of paper from party stores, and I have also bought larger pads of construction paper. For some reason, the huge pieces of paper inspire lots of writing.
They definitely encourage participation. Each child can write one sentence, and I can add new ideas or ways to transition to a new thought.
Summarize your day at home. Turn the events into a story, complete with dialogue. Put a fun twist on it— turn family members into animals. We normally become a family of bears.
At school, use big pieces of paper for brainstorming or review. Hang the paper in your classroom.
This is a bit like writing a story in a circle, only with the telephone element tossed in. You can make this a writing or public speaking lesson.
Ask person #1 (you may need to rotate) to say a silly sentence to person #2. After the message gets to the end of the line, kids should write down the final interpretation of the sentence. Dependent on their ages, ask them to write a few more sentences that elaborate on that first one. Younger kids may find that writing nonsense is fun!
Another option is for you to write the sentence and add their verbal responses. Create the story with their ideas, while modeling writing.
I see relaxed writing activities as such a valuable opportunity for kids to think in unusual, personalized ways. These writing activities will work at home or in the classroom.