A Collaborative Writing Experience

What You Need:

  • Lined paper
  • Pencil
  • Old magazine or newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Envelope and postage stamp
  • Distant collaborator (grandparent, pen pal, or friend to write to)

What You Do:

  1. The idea is simple: your son or daughter, along with their distant collaborator (grandparent, pen pal, or friend) will co-author their very own novel. Have your child begin the story by writing a page or two.
  2. Next, ask him to cut out a picture from a magazine or newspaper and paste it onto the next empty page.
  3. Provide an envelope and have him send his work-in-progress off to his co-author, who will add to the story, writing their own several pages and in some way, incorporating the pasted image in the process. Then they'll add their own image and mail it back. Tag, your child is "it" once again!
  4. Repeat the process, and see what zany twists unfold!

The crazier the picture, the more ingenuity will be needed to incorporate it. Perhaps a rhino finds his way into a mystery novel, or a famous politician enters the scene in the midst of an adventure. The element of surprise and the anticipation of waiting for the next installment will add to the fun.

So put the postal service to work. Get your child a blank book and a willing co-author. This activity transforms writing into a grab-bag plot adventure and is sure to get those creative juices flowing!

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