Can You Picture It?: A Writing Activity

What You Need:

  • A story that your child is currently working on writing
  • A blank piece of paper
  • Crayons or colored pencils

What You Do:

  1. Use a black crayon to draw a large rectangular frame about two inches wide on the perimeter of the blank paper. In the width of the frame, write the following question words, spreading them out so that they look like artsy decorations on the frame: Who? What? Why? How? When? Where? What color? How big?
  2. Read your child’s story aloud to them. As you read, have them illustrate their story in the blank space in the center of the frame. Tell them they can only draw what they hear you read in the story.
  3. When you’re finished, discuss the drawing with your child. What’s missing in the picture? What details could be added that would make the story in the picture more interesting? If they need ideas, refer to the question words that you wrote earlier in the width of the frame.
  4. As they add details to their drawing, have them use words to describe the details to you aloud.
  5. Then, have them go back to their story, and write these extra details.
  6. Finally, turn the completed drawing over, face down, and read your child’s improved story aloud to them again. Ask them to picture their story in their head as you read it aloud. Say, “Can you picture it?” Then turn over the picture, and ask them to decide if the picture in their head matches the picture on the paper. If they feel they match each other well, they can trust that they have added ample detail to their story!

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