At the beginning of the week, I thought it would helpful for the kids to think about some fundamental questions about writing…
- Why do we write? Why do we read?
- What makes for a good story? What makes a story interesting?
- What inspires you?
- What kinds of techniques can we use in our writing?
- What writing habits work best for you?
- And finally, I had the kids brainstorm alternative words for happy, go, got, etc. (We then discussed the importance of choosing descriptive words. We also talked about how to use thesaurus.com).
We actually had a wonderful discussion about writing in general. We talked for well over a half an hour (not to mention the time they took thinking and answering the questions.) This was a good lead-in to our writing workshop for the day. If you are interested in these sheets, they are free to download and they include some of the pointers I brought out. We had a great discussion about how writers create compelling stories with twists and turns, mysteries and action. We went into quite a lot of depth about writing as a craft. I’m not sure how helpful this will be to the rest of you, but for us these questions really helped the kids see the relationship between their own writing and the books they enjoy reading (and what went into making them great books).
We sure had an amazing discussion about the craft of writing… and it even inspired DD to write a letter to her current favorite author which she sent out in the mail on Wednesday! What more can you ask for?!!
So for what it’s worth, here are our sheets:
It’s because of this discussion actually that I decided to come up with the Language Arts Homeschool Checklist that I shared yesterday because we went over a lot of writing/literary terms (like similes, onomatopoeia, allusion, idioms… and I realized that we had some holes we needed to fill at some point down the road).
Here are other posts about our writing workshop and how we got started with this.
How and Why We Started Using a Homeschool Writing Workshop
- Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post #1 — How/Why we needed a change in our writing program
- Creating a Homeschool Writing Workshop – Post #2: Creating a Writing Workshop Area and Materials to Have on Hand
- Creating a Writing Workshop Post #3: This post is about Mini-Lessons during writing time, mentor texts and includes reviews of 8 or 9 writing books that you might find helpful.
- Writing Resource Pack: This is a post about the 30-page pack I made for our writing workshop. Reference pages on the 6 +1 Wri ting Traits, Mini-Lessons, the types of writing, creating a powerful beginning, techniques for ending a story/paper, and so forth. (These writing resources are free to download.)
- Writing Workshop: Dr. Seuss Style: The kids and I had fun writing in the style of Dr. Seuss!
- Biography Research Paper Resource Pack
- Practical Pointers for Working with a Reluctant Writer (or any Writer)
- Writing Activity to Spark Kids’ Imagination! My girls really loved this activity!
- 40 Journal Writing Prompts (Free Printable)
- Animal Portfolio Project: writing, art and geography activities that go with any animals… With many activities to choose from. Writing activities include both fiction and non-fiction suggestions such as
- Write a speech or a letter to the president on why your animal needs protection in the wild.
- Menu: Create a humorous menu at a restaurant where your animals would like to eat.
- WWII Portfolio Project
- Writing Workshop: What we’re doing for writing this fall
- Writing Workshop Rules! Why the Writing Workshop continues to work so well in our homeschool.