Monday, December 14, 2009

December Story Starters

My kids take after their mother -- they love to create stories! Sadly, we have not made much time for this in recent months but we are struggling to work it back into the mix. Below is a list of Story Starters:

1. The snow was falling on Christmas Eve, and we heard some bells in the distance…
2. The presents were all wrapped in pretty bows, except one...
3. The children were asleep on Christmas Eve when...
4. It was an icy evening and I just had a funny feeling...
5. One cold morning, Santa began to...
6. Rudolph was ready to help Santa when....
7. “The toys are all gone,” cried the elves...

We've done this a couple of different ways. One option is to print these on strips of paper, fold them, and toss them into a bowl. Each child chooses a slip and writes their story. Another option is to pre-select one and have the kids write their stories from the same Story Starter. We do both but I think the kids prefer writing on the same topic. It is so interesting to see the different paths their stories take.

Happy writing!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Calling All (Kids) Writers!

Scholastic is sponsoring a Kids Are Authors contest for youth in grades K-8.

From the Scholastic website:

Kids Are Authors is an annual competition open to Grades K–8 and is designed to encourage students to use their reading, writing, and artistic skills to create their own books.

Under the guidance of a project coordinator, children work in teams of three or more students to write and illustrate their own book. The creative process of working in teams helps provide a natural environment to practice editing, teamwork, and the communication skills necessary for future success. All students involved get a sense of pride and accomplishment from submitting the team project.

More info can be found here.

Sounds like a great opportunity to get kids excited about writing -- and learn teamwork along the way!

Westward Ho!

Anyone out there studying westward expansion? We've participated in this for the past two years and have found it to be a fantastic way to learn about the Oregon Trail

Our friends web page with their experience:Toadhaven

Sign-up ends December 15th and the journey begins in February.