Saturdays are a good day here for writing stories. Though we have plenty to do, we can usually find some time for writing. Often, my ten-year-old grabs some paper and illustrates a story on his own while everyone else is working around the house…Today, he spent some downtime writing a 500-word story to enter into a contest sponsored by our local library.
Even though we are real sticklers about the importance of reading and writing, the kids still resist it at times. Part of our jobs as parents is to keep up the good fight. This morning, I suggested the contest prompt to Logan: “What is the most ridiculous and crazy reason that a person’s library book is late?” He didn’t bite, and went back to playing Backyard Baseball on the computer. “What if you had to invent the most fantastical, incredible reason that your library book was late. What would you say?”
“If you wanted to win money in a contest for coming up with the most unbelievable excuse for returning your library books late, what would you come up with?” Bingo!
Maybe it was the suggestion of competition, or perhaps cold hard cash–it worked. Logan worked out a tall tale out loud, telling me what he thought would happen. After I told him that the library is offering cash as the prize, he grabbed a legal pad, sharpened a pencil and set down to write at the kitchen table. He mapped out a nice story that he has since entered in the contest. I’ll keep you posted…
Meanwhile, why not set your kids to writing on Saturday? If this is a day for sports and dance lessons, or running around on errands, it is still possible. Try just 15 minutes at the table.
Here are some ideas:
- Ask them to draw a picture. When they are done, ask them to write a story to accompany it. This works well for kindergartners through second graders.
- Cut pictures from ads or stories in magazines and ask them to tell the story about a picture. What is happening in the photo? Who are the people? A few lines is great for a 1st grader. Expect your older kids to write a paragraph or more.
- Ask them to write a story about their favorite TV character or book character.