Summer isn’t the time to hassle your kids over spelling and grammar, but they do need to keep their writing skills sharp. Consider creating a writing corner in your home with colorful paper, notebooks, pens and markers. It can be a spot for your kids to write stories, create comic strips, compose a letter to Grandma or just practice their handwriting.
Here are some other fun ways to incorporate language arts into your summer:
• In your kitchen, put up a dry-erase board or chalkboard and ask your kids to write menus, grocery lists and phone messages.
• Encourage storytelling at the dinner table.
• Play word games like Boggle as a family, or work a crossword puzzle together.
Technology offers tools for fostering creativity and improving writing skills. Storybird, at storybird.com, uses narratives to connect people. Your child could start a Storybird with a few words and images, then invite a friend to take a turn. Ab
The website Write More, at writemorestuff.com, was developed by teacher Alma Ammons Hoffmann, who suggests creative writing activities such as:
• Observe a pet for 10 minutes. Describe what he does and how he looks, and predict what he will do next.
• Write about the most delicious dessert you’ve ever had. Where were you? Who was with you? What was the occasion?
• Pretend you are a piece of sports equipment and describe your life. Is it a fun life or hard and painful?
• Take photos of artwork, then create drawings, poetry, songs, descriptions and stories inspired by the pieces.
• Connect kids to their communities by pairing them with residents of retirement homes. Get the seniors talking about their lives, then have the students write narratives about their partners.
• Ask students to write about what concerns them most. One teenager wrote an essay about her struggle with anorexia, then shared the piece with her doctor, who used it to help other patients.
Betsy Flagler, a journalist based in Davidson, is a mother and preschool teacher. Email p2ptips att.net or call 704-236-9510.
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