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6 Ways to Work Out His Writing Chops

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Are you raising the Next Great American Novelist? These literary exercises will help your wee one develop his writing skills.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

Descriptive Writing

Purpose: Using the five senses and specific language, students develop creative and detailed writing skills.

Activities: A character profile for a wanted sign, a paragraph or essay comparing or contrasting something using similes and metaphors, a descriptive paragraph that shows (but doesn’t tell) where a hidden treasure is, a poem describing his favorite hobby, or a description of a mysterious crime scene.

Expository Writing

Purpose: Researching and analyzing information, students write an objective report in order to provide directions, give transitional steps (first, second, third, etc.), compare two things to one another, show cause and effect, or demonstrate problems and their solutions.

Activities: Directions on how to make a recipe, an essay comparing his favorite and least favorite pastime, an alphabet book, a summary on his favorite book, or an autobiography about a local hero or his favorite superhero.

Journals and Letters

Purpose: Less formal than most writing, journals and letters help students do everything form learn how to write for themselves and specific audiences to how to explore ideas, share the latest news, and record information and notes.

Activities: Thank you letters for a birthday or holiday gift, a blog, a learning or reading log, a business letter to a local business suggesting a new product, a friendly letter to a pen pal, or a travel journal logging the latest family trip.

Narrative Writing

Purpose: Learning the basics of the plot triangle –the beginning, middle, and end of a story – students develop characters and stories.

Activities: retell a familiar story, develop the next sequel (or prequel if they're a star wars fan) to their favorite story, write about the events in their own lives or their friends, create the next blockbuster movie script.

Persuasive Writing

Purpose: Presenting their point of view or position using examples and supporting evidence, persuasive writing teaches students how to tap into emotion, moral character, and logic.

Activities: A persuasive essay arguing why he should be able to stay up late, a review of a recent book he’s read or movie he’s watched, an advertisement for his favorite thing or a new zany product, or a letter to the local paper's editor.

Poetry Writing

Purpose: Poetry gets students thinking about word play, form and function of words, and sound in order to better understand how the words come together to create vivid and powerful pictures.

Activities: creative poems about his favorite color, an acrostic poem - a poem using a reoccurring first letter, syllable, or line – using vocabulary for an upcoming test (like a mnemonic device), Haikus using refrigerator word magnets, or even hold a poetry slam.

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