When you begin teaching children to write during their elementary school years, the first attempts at writing creatively often take place around the age of six. While there is still much to be learned about spelling, composition and even proper handling of pencils at this age, the kids can begin experimenting with creative writing and express themselves in words. Make the writing fun, and the kids will be eager to learn and may catch on much faster.
Turn your six-year-old into a journalist by giving them their first newspaper writing assignment. To do this activity glue a headline from a newspaper that will be understood by your child to the top of a blank page and have him write a short paragraph about the topic. Alternatively, you could clip out several newspaper headlines and clip the word apart and come up with your own amusing headlines that the child will relate to. If they choose, they can even draw a picture to go with the story and then share it with the family or other kids in their classroom.
Kids generally like puppets and puppet shows. If not puppets, then they like stuffed animals to “talk” and have a personality of their own. With such a colorful cast of characters, tell the child about scriptwriting. Help them write a script for a puppet play. They can write the notes about what the puppets are doing and then write the names of the characters and what they say to one another next to it. This will allow the child to create an entire scene using the imagination and then they can get you or other kids to help them perform the play they’ve written.
Set up a stage area where the child can sit out of view of the audience, perhaps behind a table draped in a tablecloth. They can keep their paper script behind the stage as well as all the puppets. They use their hands to work the puppets above the surface of the table so everyone in the audience can see.
One of the best ways to get children started in creative writing is to just let them document their own experiences. Their daily lives may not be comparable to a story about a princess in a tower, a knight and fighting a dragon, but you may be surprised at the creative ways kids express themselves when writing about their everyday lives. Use any excuse for kids to write a story. Every time school is out for a holiday they should be able to write a page about what they did over Thanksgiving holiday or on Halloween night. Seen from a six-year-old perspective, even the most normal occurrences can be quite entertaining and creative.
- pencil image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com