Beginning Writing: Capturing Your Child’s Ideas on Paper

by Laurie Laurendeau on October 11, 2011

Last week, we talked about the various tools available to help your beginner writer such as larger pencils, special pencil grips and different types of paper.  Now that your child is physically ready to write, how do we get all those creative thoughts down on paper?

Children are usually pretty creative creatures.  They engage in imaginary play and create wild characters and scenarios as they explore the world around them.  Now it’s time to capture those creative thoughts in a story with your child!

  • A common problem that young writers have is focusing in on the most important aspects of a story.  They tend to begin telling one story, and then go off in several different directions.  This usually amounts to a story that has too many characters, details, and plot lines.  Help your child create a story by coming up with a few simple story elements before beginning to write a story.  Help your child make a list of main characters, the setting (where the story takes place), and the main problem.
  • Ask your child to orally tell the story first.  This will ensure that her story follows the story elements that she has already set up, and it will also ensure that her story has a good beginning, middle and end.  You may need to steer her back if she gets off track in the telling of her story.  This is normal!
  • Once you feel as though your child has developed a logical story, you are ready to put it down on paper. Your child may need you to help her scribe some of the story.  Feel free to help her with the writing part of the story if you are interested in getting her ideas down on paper.  Encourage her to write some of the words (easier words that she may know how to spell).
  • If your child is ready for this step, you can ask her to go back over her written story and check that all the story elements are there.  Also, you can have her check for basic spelling and punctuation (capitals, periods) in her story, as well as proper word spacing.

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