Making Writing Fun

Teaching writing is one of my favourite things to do.  Over the years I’ve found a few interesting activities for children to have some fun with writing activities.  Here are a few of my favourites that you can use in a classroom:

  • RAFTS – Rafts give the kids choices in what they will write about.  You can have them choose the Role, audience, format of the writing and the topic.  To make a RAFT easier for younger children, you can have them choose what row they would like to write about.  For older children, you can have them pick and choose from the various rows.  Giving children choices helps them to feel like they had a decision in their writing and lets them take ownership for it – instead of just being given another boring assignment to write about.

Fairy Tale Raft 

Role

Audience

Format

Topic

Big Bad Wolf

Red Riding Hood

Apology letter

Apology for trying to eat her grandma

3 Little Pigs

Their father

postcard

Let us come home!

Cinderella

the kingdom

wanted poster

to bring her stepmother and stepsisters to justice for her treatment

The 3 bears

the police

report

reasons to throw Goldilocks in jail

Frog Prince

the king

persuasive letter

convince the princess to kiss my slimy frog lips

 

  • Tic-Tac-Toes – this is another choice activity.  The children choose what row they would like to work on, or if you choose, you can have them choose any 3, 4 or 5 activities depending on the age or skill level of the child.

Fairy & Folk Tale Tic-Tac-Toe Board

1.  Story Scrambles:

After you’ve read the applicable story, work on a story scramble.  Read the story strips carefully & cut and paste in the right order on the story template sheet.

2.  Scripts:

Choose a play & a group to help you act it out.  Practice it & perform it for the class.

3. Partner Reading:

Choose a story to read with a partner.  Read the story carefully & work on the comprehension questions in your writing scribbler.  Answer in complete sentences.

4.  Cube It’s:

Use the cubes to roll for an activity to work on.  There are 2 versions of the Cube It’s to work on.  Do the activity in your writing scribbler unless otherwise called for.

5.  Guided Reading:

You and a group of students will be reading a story with an adult.  You will complete some pre-reading, during reading & reading response activities during this time.

6.  Listening Center:

Use the books and cassettes provided to listen to a folk or fairy tale.  Listen carefully so you can retell the story in a flip book or orally to your teacher.

7.  Story Folders:

Choose a story folder that looks interesting.  Read the story carefully & answer the ‘Questions About’ sheet that goes with the story.  Write complete sentences in your writing scribbler.  There are other activities that go with the story as well. You can do these orally or on a separate sheet of paper.

8.  Fairy Tale Raft:

Using a Fairy Tale Raft that has been provided, choose a row with a role, audience, format & topic that you would like to write about.  I can’t wait to see your work!

9.  Storybooks:

Read, read, read to your hearts content.  You can also use the big paper to write your own storybook either by re-writing the important sentences you have read (only choose the most important ones) or by summarizing and retelling the story in your own words.

 

  •  Cube It’s – yet another choice activity – here the kids roll a cube with the activities on it & they can choose their favorite activity out of as many rolls as you, the teacher, choose – give them a choice of 2 or 3 rolls.  You can even have a huge class size poster made up with the activities and let them roll die instead – less work for you.

Fairy Tale Cube Its

1 – Choose your favourite fairy tale character & design a wanted poster for the character.  Be sure to give a good description of physical & personality characteristics.  Tell why they are wanted & what reward will be offered.

2 – Read a fairy tale very carefully.  Then create a filmstrip of pictures that will tell the story.  Use a roll of paper that will fit into our filmstrip box.  Tell the story as your film is playing for a group of friends.

3 – Create a game that goes with your favourite fairy tale.  Determine what equipment you will need, what rules the game will have & what will happen if people don’t follow the rules.

4 – Choose at least 3-4 fairy tales & create a cause & effect chart to show the differences or similarities between causes/effects in each story.

5 – Create a song or poem to retell a fairy tale you have read.  Practice carefully & ask to present it to the class.

6 – Choose your favourite fairy tale character & evaluate whether or not they could survive in the present day.  What would become of them in today’s world?  What changes would they have to make or what new things would they have to learn to survive in today’s world?

 

  • Online Writing – give these a try: www.storybird.com, www.kerpoof.com, http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/make-your-own/story-maker, … There are many great online writing activity sites for your kids to try out – you just have to check them out yourself!
  • Story Writing Programs – one that I enjoy is called Books By You from Scholastic.
  • CopyCat Books – have the kids read a book & write their own similar tale – great books to use are the Black Lagoon books by Mike Thaller, My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, any of the books by Helen Lester or Keiko Kasza …  There are so many quality picture books that you can use for this activity.  Choose fun books that make the children laugh and have great story ideas they can springboard off of.
  • Use photos from their lives – do they have an interesting pictures at home that they’d like to write a story or descriptive paragraph about?  You can also use pictures from the internet that they would like to write about.  www.bluebison.net has some interesting pictures that you can use as prompts for the children to choose from.
  • Pick a Prompt – have 3 baskets, bags or whatever you choose to organize your prompts in the following categories:  Setting, Characters & Problem.  Write various, interesting settings, characters & story problems on cards that they can choose to create an interesting story.
  • Role Play – have the children act out their story with puppets or role play it with partners & then write.
  • Draw it – kids love to draw – have them draw their story ideas out first & then write.
  • Publishing their own books – make mini books, flap books with their writing & illustrations.  Here’s a website that shows you how to make some of these fun books with kids:  http://www.vickiblackwell.com/makingbooks.html
  • Contest Writing – writing for a contest that could win a child a prize may be fun!

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