Encourage your child to get involved in the community and sharpen her writing skills by penning an editorial for the local paper. She'll get to play reporter for a day as she writes persuasively about a local issue that concerns or interests her. This is a fun way to introduce your child to professional writing and the writing process as well as get her thinking about her community and the world around her.
The writing process involves 6 or more stages and is a good habit for kids, especially teens looking toward college, to get into. The six main stages are: prewriting, drafting, revising, rewriting, proofreading, and publishing.
Computer and printer (for the final draft of the editorial)
What You Do:
Encourage your child to read through several editorials in the local paper to get a feel for the style. What are her first impressions? Discuss persuasive writing techniques together, using the Internet for help if needed.
Help your child brainstorm important, relevant topics that she could write an editorial about. Think about current events and recent news stories for inspiration.
Once she's settled on a topic, have her write an outline describing key points that she wants to make in her article. Starting with an outline will help her organize her thoughts and give her a better idea of what she wants her article to say.
Once she's finished her outline, ask her to write a rough draft of her article. Remind her that in rough drafts, it's most important that she get her ideas down on paper, not that she write perfectly. She can easily rework the language and style of her article in the first revision.
Read through her rough draft together. Give her pointers on how to improve the flow and structure of her article, and help her with any grammatical mistakes. Encourage her to revise her paper with your advice and her own changes in mind.
Repeat step 5 until your child is happy with her article. Professional writers go through multiple revision stages before they reach their final draft. Encourage your child to make as many revisions as she needs!
Together with your child, proofread her article one last time and make any final changes.
Now she can type up the final copy of her editorial and send it off to the newspaper. Give your child a pat on the back for a job well done!