Category: Language Arts: Writing

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Writing Activity to Spark Kids’ Imagination!

This writing activity captured the imagination of my kids and definitely tapped into their creative sides! When we had a warmer day, we took our writing workshop outside.  I always try to wrap our activities in an air of mystery to try to build the kids’ curiosity and anticipation.  They were pretty excited about this one! The kids grabbed their writing journals and I then handed them each part of...

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40 Journal Writing Prompts (Free Printable)

In a blog post a few weeks ago, I talked about why we use the writing workshop and how it works. But this year, I also added in Journal Prompt Writing  as part of their checklist of things to do.  Here’s why.  ED started writing with us right from the start (even before she officially started kindergarten.) She enjoys writing, but her “stories” are always about a cat (or dog...

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Writing Workshop: What We’re Doing for Writing This Fall

In this post, I wanted to talk about writing in our homeschool this fall.  Last year, we shifted to a writing workshop model.  I had a reluctant writer and up until that point, writing was a chore for my son.  Well, after switching to a writing workshop… writing became one of his favorite subjects! So, what do I mean by a writing workshop? In brief this means: We have a...

World War II Portfolio Project 2

WWII Portfolio Project

I received several emails and a message from people interested in the WWII Portfolio Project I made for LD. So, here it is! My son is doing some research work on WWII. Except for reading some novels last year (like Number the Stars), we have not covered this topic at all… He has been doing quite a bit of reading and has watched a video before jumping into the project ideas...

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Animal Portfolio Project

The kids are starting on another independent research project.  Last semester the kids did a biography research project, but this semester they are doing a portfolio project. That’s just a fancy way of saying… a bit of this and a bit of that.  They’ll do both non-fiction and fiction writing selections, art projects, geography and habitat projects. And they’ll also watch a number of videos and/or movies.  You’ll get a...

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons Day 5 (Exploring Memories)

This was one of the best mini lessons we’ve had on writing.  The kids still talk about how much they enjoyed sharing their memories and writing about them. They’ve asked me when we can do this again.  I call that a successful day! If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series, I would suggest you go back and start with them, though honestly, you can do any of these...

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons (Day 4–Story Openings)

Day 4: Story Openings–Set the mood or feeling of your story You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the second in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Be sure to read the introduction to this series in last Monday’s post, Day 1. Here are some of our first mini-lesson topics....

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons Day 3: Creating Interesting Characters

Day 3: Creating Interesting Characters You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the second in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Be sure to read the introduction to this series in last Monday’s post, Day 1. Here are some of our first mini-lesson topics. I used mentor texts and picked...

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons Day 2 – Make the Story Come Alive with Details

Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson #2: Make the Story Come Alive with  Details; Show the reader what happened; Create images in the reader’s mind You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the second in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Be sure to read the introduction to this series in last Monday’s...

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How do I Help the Kids to Start Writing?! 5 Lessons Ideas for the Writing Workshop (Day 1)

You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the first in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Introduction: Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons I have spent a lot of time writing about why we use a writing workshop, how we set up and structure our writing workshop, and even went into...

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Practical Pointers for Working with a Reluctant Writer (or any writer!)

How do you help a child who throws his hands up and declares he can’t write, refuses to write, only writes “I suck at writing” or prose of that sort?  Well, it has been a long hard journey for my son (10), but things have started to turn around this year and I wanted to share how we’ve made it over that hump… most of the time. *Have a space where...

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Wonderful Free Writing Resource for Young Writers

I was so excited to come across the Young Writer’s Survival Kit by Melissa Forney. It has been an amazing resource for our writing workshop.  At times when it’s writing time, I haven’t thought of a writing mini-lesson for the day. If I pick up this little booklet, I can flip through and I’m sure to find a good, quick writing lesson. These are fabulous writing tips for kids!  ...

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Biography Research Paper Resource Pack (Free)

Last semester, the kids worked on their first mini-research paper.  They hadn’t done a project like this before, so I took them step-by-step through the process of finding books and Internet resources, creating a bibliography, taking notes and writing a paper.  They had a “due date” and I graded their paper and gave them feedback on what they could do better next time. I wanted them to have the experience...

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Writing Workshop: Dr. Seuss Style

Yesterday I mentioned that we read the Sneetches (while talking about some of the lessons about the Civil Rights Movement: Civil Rights Movement Lessons – Prejudice Stereotypes Groups and More).  We talked for a long time about how it feels to be left out. We talked about fitting in and sometimes how it’s hurtful not to wear the right thing or look the right way. I told the kids a...