Motivate young learners with imaginative writing activities.

Capture the attention of your emerging writers with novel experiences, pulling in previous know-how and allowing them to have some fun while learning. By the time students reach second grade, they have been introduced to topics such as parts of speech, sequencing events and using their imagination to write creative fiction. Now that their writing skills are more developed, it's time to set them free to work toward mastery and independence.

Living on a Cloud

Take your class outside with a notebook and a pencil. Invite them to watch the clouds and imagine what it would be like to live in one. After sharing adjectives used to describe clouds, each child comes up with nine to write on their papers. Back in the classroom, have each student stack five pieces of white paper and a blue construction paper cover. Hamburger-fold, then staple the end to make a book. Instruct the class to write a story about living on a cloud, using one of the nine adjectives on each page. Illustrate, and decorate the cover with cotton ball clouds.

Fact Versus Fiction

When a writer begins with facts but stretches the truth, the story becomes fiction. Read a few tall tales -- examples available online at "American Folklore: Tall Tales." Point out examples of exaggeration and give an example of how a fact can be stretched. “I am a teacher -- I am the best teacher in the USA -- I am such an amazing teacher they invented a new white board and named it after me -- They hung my white board in the White House as a monument to my awesome teaching.” Have students do the same. Write 1 through 10 on a paper. Start with a fact, such as hair color or a favorite activity, and progressively exaggerate the fact. Staple pages together, write and illustrate a series of tall tales.

Complete the Sentence: Nouns and Verbs

In this activity, students are given a set of sentences that are missing something important -- subjects or verbs. Free worksheets can be found at with a search for “completing sentences.” Students fill in a noun that completes the sentence. For example. " jumped in the lake." Perhaps it was a turtle or a duck. Let them be silly and creative. Who knows, maybe Superman jumped in the lake. Alternately, a list of sentences missing a verb can be used. For example, students add a verb this sentence. "Spot the funny cat ."

Writing the Recipe Right

Use familiar activities to prompt students to practice sequencing.

Using the worksheet “Writing Recipes: Pizza” on Great website, have students reorganize the out-of-order steps of making a pizza. The class will practice reading for sequence, prediction, writing practice as well as editing. They can practice by thinking of a four- or five-step process. Ask students to write out each step on a separate index card, then instruct them to shuffle the cards and take turns with classmates putting the cards in order.