Wednesday, 30 July 2014

creative writing for children

How best do we inspire the next generation of writers?  One way is through copying out their favourite stories.  This was certainly something I did as a child and Sophie has carried on the tradition.

Encourage copying, I hear you say, shock, horror!  What is the woman talking about?

But think about it for a moment:

* It helps them find a preference for a writing style - they obviously choose something they're drawn to and this will help develop their own voice

* It teaches them about sentence structure, grammar and spelling - even if the kids aren't consciously aware that this is going on in the background

* It introduces a wider vocabulary than they would normally use

* It helps them learn about paragraphing, the next stage on from writing purely in sentences

* It helps with pronunciation as they read their work aloud to you and stumble across unfamiliar words

* Sophie says that she can also make up her own words sometimes and add them in, which I'd say is a great step in my first point, helping to develop their own voice (this has happened in her adaptation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

I'd love to think we have children out their preparing to become the voices of digital natives - those who have been brought up in the age of the internet.  This is just one of many ways we can add to their toolboxes.  I'll discuss more as time permits.

How do you encourage children to write, either your own or others?  
Are you a giver of books, a teller of tales, a writer of stories?  
What tips do you have to share?

6 comments:

  1. Great post - agree with this totally.
    I encourage my son to look at the way other stories are structured. And when reading to him, I ask him to predict what he thinks will happen next.

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    1. Thanks Isabelle! Prediction is interesting isn't it? I notice they use it at school too, especially when they're checking for comprehension - I must try and remember to ask the kids that as well… Thank you!

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  2. That sounds like a great idea. My seven year old has a day each week when they dim the lights, turn on 'fake' candles, play soft music and write and write and write. She loves it and proudly brings home her 'Big Write' stories.

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    1. Wow, imagine having that sort of session. It sounds fabulous! Long live the Big Write!

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  3. I am a huge giver of books. I always love receiving them myself as a kid and it is the one thing I cannot say no to when my kids ask me to buy them. I love nothing more than all of us curled up on a cold day and immersed in our books and I love browsing books at our local book store with the boys and discovering the type of books they enjoy. I also like to earn brownie points by buying them the next book in whatever series they are reading as a bit of a surprise xx

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    1. Books as a gift are definitely a greet choice! Love hunkering down and reading too!

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