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Writing Activities for Kids To Do At Home

Writing Activities for Kids at Home
by Kimberly L. Keith
Make a Menu
Let your child design and write the menu for a family dinner while you do the cooking. Write difficult words for them to copy, or let them look up words in a dictionary. This activity can be done on art paper with gel pens, or on a word processing program.
Write Lists
Let your child write the grocery list as you dictate what you need from the store. This is a good way to keep her occupied while waiting to go to the store and to help her develop a sense of responsibility for household activities. Children can also write lists to pack for a trip, plan a busy week, and prepare for back-to-school or holidays.
Write a Letter to Grandparents
Keep a supply of kid note cards and stationery on hand for letter writing. A letter from a grandchild is always a delight; bad spelling and punctuation is overlooked!
Set a Goal
Teach your child the valuable skill of writing personal goals.  He or she can write a long term goal and the mini steps required to achieve it.
Write a Picture Story
Draw a line about 2/3 down on a sheet of art paper. Let the child draw a picture of anything she wishes at the top. Then, guide her to write a story about the picture at the bottom. Let her write unfamiliar words phonetically. Guide her to use the basic story elements of 'character, setting, and plot'.
Newspaper Reporter Activity
Your child can play reporter and learn the 5 W's of writing with this activity. Write 'Who, What, Where, When, and Why' down the left side of a sheet of paper.  Have your child watch a news story or learn about one online, and note on his sheet the 5 W's of the story. The child can write his own news story after taking a memorable trip or attending a special event.
Use Writing Prompts and Graphic Organizers
If you need some ideas to help your child get started on a creative home writing activity. Try these sites to find a quick writing prompt.
·                          Scholastic's Write Your Own Ending Activity -http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1849     
·                          Laurie Candler's Imaginative Story Topics -http://home.att.net/~teaching/langarts/imagine.pdf
·                          CanTeach Elementary Writing Prompts -http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/prompts.html
·                          Write Source Writing Topics Organized by Grade - http://thewritesource.com/writing_topics/
Your child will be inspired at writing time when you introduce some graphic organizers to help him develop pre-writing and writing strategies.
·                          Region 15 Graphic Organizers - http://www.region15.org/curriculum/graphicorg.html
·                          Houghton-Mifflin Education Place Graphic Organizers  - http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/
Play with Poetry
Use Laurie Candler's friendship cinquain lesson, but make it a family cinquain. Interview a family member or write the cinquain about the entire family. http://home.att.net/~teaching/langarts/friendsh.pdf
Play Scholastic's Newspaper Word Poetry Challenge, which is an inexpensive way to copy the 'poetry magnets' you see in the educational toy stores. http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1723
Print these poetry form worksheets from ABC Teach:
·                          Diamonte Poem Form - http://www.abcteach.com/free/d/diamonte.pdf
·                          How to Write a Haiku Poem - http://www.abcteach.com/free/h/howto_haiku.pdf
·                          Name or Acrostic Poem -  http://www.abcteach.com/Writing/namepoem.htm
Make a Book
Picture dictionaries are a must for emergent literacy. Your child and you can make your own picture dictionary with this project from Scholastic. http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/lessonplans/ect/picturedictionary.htm
Book Making with Kids - http://www.bookmakingwithkids.com/?cat=27