3-5 Resources: The Write Stuff

Writing Tool Box

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. A better writer is a better reader! Writing based on real-world experiences and familiar tasks is engaging and motivating and helps children connect what they know, understand and think. The 21st Century demands that literate people possess a wide range of writing skills.

Writer’s Write

Keep a journal for all sorts of writing opportunities. One can always write about something you read. But do not pass up the opportunity to reflect on activities of the day: a soccer match, a trip to the grocery store, a traffic jam that made you late. Keep a weather journal! The opportunities are limitless and writing about an incident or activity can make writing relevant. Make writing and reflecting on an experience or activity a habit. Make certain that materials for journaling are available: pencils or pens, paper, white board, journals or computer writing programs.

Topics for writing might include:

  • Set of instructions, such as how to care for a pet
  • A thank you letter to a relative
  • Shopping list
  • A book review of a recently read book
  • With presidential elections looming, write a description of presidential attributes important to you
  • Use a newspaper photo and write your own article
  • Keep a diary, guest book or baby book for a younger sibling

The Writing Process

The writing process—preplanning, drafting, revising and editing, rewriting, publishing—mirrors the way proficient writers write. In layman’s terms, writers SAY IT, WRITE IT, READ IT and REVISE IT. This guide will break down the process of writing into understandable steps, allowing for a polished finished product. Perhaps the finished product will be a letter, an advertisement, a presentation, a book or a song.

Glow and Grow

To help your child with the writing process, try using the Glow and Grow Strategy. This trick provides feedback to your child in a “bright” way—use a “glowing” highlighter (bright yellow) to show what your child has done really well and a “growing” highlighter (green) to show areas where some improvements can be made.

Write a Story Together

Writing a story can be great fun. But writing a story with a friend or friends can be really interesting. Decide on a partner or partners who will be part of this evolving story. Perhaps your family members will contribute or a circle of friends will write together. Consider them the “authors.” Someone begins the process by writing the first sentence or two or even the first paragraph. Pass the story on to the next author and keep the writing flowing. Contributors may even add illustrations to the evolving story. This can be done with paper and pencil or can be done electronically using email to pass the story along.

But as much fun as it can be, writing a story can also seem like a challenge to a child (or an adult!). By familiarizing a child with how authors create stories and what the different parts of a story are, introducing visual or written prompts that inspire him or her to think of story ideas and encouraging him or her to plan before starting to write, you’ll help the child make a complete and imaginative story.

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Effective writing requires good grammar, spelling and punctuation. There are many resources in print or online if you need some help in this area. There are free apps that can guide your spelling or grammar dilemmas.