Have you heard this comment before? "I can't think of anything to write!" I can empathize with our students because sometimes I have the same thing happen to me. Soooo, how do you help your child to come up with ideas?
I saw the phrase writing box that was advertising stationary and pens inside a decorative box, but those words gave me an idea of what could be done for story writing. My thought was to find two or three items to put into a small box that your son or daughter would open. Who doesn't like the idea of lifting the lid on a box and discovering the contents that are held inside? These items provide the prompts to create a story without you having to rack your brain to come up with an interesting sentence writing prompt. Let me give you some ideas of what these boxes could have in them.
Writing Box 1 The items inside the writing box are: a storybook, a toy, and a small unlit candle. A story that is just waiting to be told could be about a child (let's say Tillie) who is reading a book. While she is doing so, the toy that is sitting on the Tillie's lap comes alive and jumps into the book! Later it is discovered that the toy has taken the candle along with them to light the way on their journey...
Writing Box 2 The items inside the writing box are: a favorite pair of socks (clean of course!), a watch, and an advertisement for a restaurant. We get those monthly magazines that have goods and services advertised in them; why not put them to good use? A possible story could be that your son is all ready for the day with his favorite pair of socks and comfy sneakers. He has some allowance money and goes to the restaurant (the one found in the writing box) with some friends. While he is eating, he glances at his watch only to discover that he has been there for eight hours! How is that possible? Could that watch be a special time vortex watch...?
Of course, those are only my ideas and examples of what kind of stories can be created. Discuss story ideas with the items before beginning writing if your son or daughter has a difficult time. You could start out with a comment such as, “What do these items have in common?” Can you think of a way that these items can be used together? Jump in on the conversation to help create story ideas, be the scribe by writing down the ideas, and review all the possibilities so that your budding writer has success.
If you would like to have some more fun on a different day, you can have your daughter help with creating a writing box. Have her pick three items and she can tell her story with the ones she has selected.
I hope this helps to get the creative juices flowing. Why not choose three items for yourself and model the writing activity by creating your own story? Be sure to have everyone share when you finish.
Lisa McAfee bio:
I am an alumni home educator of two sons and Ohio licensed teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. I have been assessing homeschool students’ work for the past 17 years and enjoy helping empower and encourage homeschool moms with their homeschooling. www.schoolmarmohio.com