Language and writing abilities can be developed and reinforced in children of all ages. As early as kindergarten, familiarity with writing and conveying information can be introduced to help students learn. A strong way to integrate creative writing, reading comprehension and manual dexterity into lesson plans for kindergarteners is to get them started on writing a daily or at least weekly journal. There is no limit to the subject matter that can be addressed in these journals. If writing in the journal is too difficult for the children, encouraging them to draw in the journal can be a good way to start. Similarly, instead of having the students write entire sentences, you can lead with a prompt and have them fill in blanks with their own information.
This is an easy start for students for an introduction to journal writing. Students can list some of their favorite things and even explain some reasons why they are favorites. Items such as their favorite food, type of music, family memory, vacation experience, song or movie can all be documented in journal entries. These lists are also easy for students to draw instead of write about. Lists are always fun for the students to reference later when they get older.
Writing about holidays can help students feel more connected with the traditions, rituals and meanings of the particular days. Some examples of holiday-themed journal writing or drawing are a favorite present received at Christmas, traditional meals served on the Fourth of July or the most memorable experience celebrating a holiday with a family member.
Letter writing is a very useful device for young writers. It not only allows them to express abstract ideas, it also familiarizes them with the structure of a written letter. It's also helpful for helping students better engage with a lesson plan. Children can write a letter to someone they know personally, an important historical figure, an animal or a fictional literary character.
Journal entries can be used to help students relate to a particular story. In a paragraph, children should summarize a book or movie that impacted them. Besides a summary, they can write about their favorite characters, the part of the plot they like the most, which character they like the least or if the story reminded them of anything in their own lives.
Some interesting subject matter for personal journals can start by having the children in the classroom interact with one another. They can ask each other questions and use that information for their journal entries. This is especially useful for the beginning of the school year, helping children to get to know each other and feel comfortable as a group.
Children can channel their creativity into journal entries that stem from their own imagination. Have them write very short stories or poems. Children may not know the structure of fiction writing, but this can be nurtured by helping the students refine their storytelling abilities.
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