When Spiral Notebooks
Go On Sale
For our son, writing assignments are booooooooring. I know he needs lots of
practice. How can I come up with things for him to write that won't seem like
I would buy a dozen spiral notebooks
some day when they're on sale, and save them for a school vacation. Then give
them to your son and encourage him to fill them all up with writing samples.
When every page has at least five lines filled, or whatever you want your goal
to be, you will give him a future treat - perhaps take him and a friend to a
movie he's been wanting to see that's coming out in a month or so, or purchase
something for his collection of whatever he collects.
The point is to have the notebooks
available with plenty of suggestions for what he can write about to fill them
-- Biography of a favorite stuffed animal written like an
encyclopedia entry, including "facts" about parents, youth and
"accomplishments," complete with a portrait in colored pencil.
-- Recipe for something good to eat: invent it, name it, and list
at least five ingredients, with preparation instructions that are as elaborate
or funny as possible.
-- Restaurant reviews written in
newspaper style for one week of dinners in your household. Each review should
list what was served. Who liked it, who didn't, and why? Add colorful
quotations from the cook and eaters alike.
-- "Help wanted" ads for household
tasks, written in the style of classified ads, and posted near the scene of the
task, such as taped to the vacuum cleaner.
-- Write hints for a treasure hunt,
perhaps in rhymes. Come up with prizes, such as pieces of candy or small
trinkets. Hide the items, place the hints, and carry out the surprise.
-- The child can write out specific
instructions, with illustrations, for how to do something the child loves to
-- Cut out an interesting magazine
photo and use it as the setting for a story.
-- Mother or father can write a
question at the top of a piece of paper and leave it in the child's lunch with
a pencil. The child writes an answer and puts the note and pencil back in the
lunchbox. The next day, the parent responds to that answer and writes another
question. Keep it going all week.
-- Write a sequel to a favorite book
-- Make up a Christmas gift list for
a cartoon or movie character or favorite animal.
-- Letters to friends, relatives,
penpals and famous people; help your child find addresses on the Internet for
where to send fan mail to celebrities.
-- Greeting cards: try writing poems
for special occasion cards and illustrate with colorful drawings.
-- Stories and poems for
publication: help your child search for opportunities to submit pieces of
writing to children's publications.
-- Notes for bulletin boards with a
famous inspirational quote, followed by the child's own version. For instance:
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt" . . .
"The only thing we have to fear is being in the house with Dad after he's eaten
-- A weekend or summertime activity
is to create a kids' newspaper and circulate it in the neighborhood,
after-school group or to friends.
-- Create a board game and write
instructions, playing card information, and "copy" for each "space."
-- Make a scrapbook and write
memorable captions for photos and mementoes.
-- Write funny bumper stickers.
-- Make a collage with words and
letters cut out of old magazines and catalogs. Paste in place to spell out a
poem, story, letter or other written work.
-- Make-your-own dictionary of the
child's favorite words, in alphabetical order, with pronunciations and
Homework: Browse through these additional