For a lot of us, writing instruction is…well, not very fun. It often goes something like this:
- Turn to the next assignment in the workbook or teacher’s manual and read the basic instructions.
- Set a blank sheet of paper in front of your child.
- Watch your child stare blankly at the paper.
- Give up and go on to another subject.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
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I’m here to give you 15 of my top activities!
Tweaking a Writing Assignment
If your child just plain can’t figure out what to write for an assignment – or finds it dry as dirt – it’s fine to tweak it to meet their needs and interests!
The assignment is there to teach your child a certain set of skills.
As long as you keep that skill set in mind, it’s fine to change it up a bit. Just change it to meet your child’s interests, and you’ll likely see their interest soar!
1. Design a Book Jacket
This project is great for kids who would rather draw and design than writ, and it works well for elementary through high school students. It also gives them an inside look at publishing and marketing skills!
2. Write a Character Sketch
A character sketch is a great way to encourage your child to write! It allows kids to dig into their favorite character.
This can be a character from a book, show, or movie, or one that they make up themselves. If they want, they can even include an illustration!
3. Script it Out!
This one actually works well as an extension for the character sketch, if your student enjoys storytelling or theater. It’s also a fun way to dig into script writing!
The script can be for a short play, a YouTube sketch, or a skit for a club or group. Let your child be creative!
4. Pick a Character
This activity goes really well with history or literature studies. Let your child pick and develop a character, and then write from that character’s point of view!
Some ideas include:
- Daily or weekly journal
- Creating a newspaper from a certain time period – Ancient Egypt Gazette, perhaps?
- “The Best Day Ever!” or “Something Crazy Happened to Me Today…” from the character’s point of view
5. Write a Poem
Some kids are really intimidated by writing poetry, while others love it! Try some easy forms – A Kick in the Head is a fantastic book to introduce them. It makes poetry fun!
6. Critique a Show or Movie
Do you have a child that notices every detail? Or perhaps one that loves a certain show? Let them share their views!
A good critique will include a synopsis (spoilers noted), good points, things that could be better, and overall opinions. This is an activity where your child’s personality can shine!
7. Become a Food Critic
And for the foodie kids out there…time to become a mini food critic! This is a great chance to teach descriptive writing and life skills in the kitchen!
8. Write from Pictures
Writing from pictures is a fantastic way to draw your visual learner into writing. There are packs of pictures that are ready to go, but you can also scan Google Images for photos that correspond to favorite activities, places, books, or current studies.
Just be sure to snag pictures that have details your child can really dig into. Even the simplest pictures can work for this. One of my son’s favorites was of a bubble just starting to break!
9. Give Directions
This activity works well for kids who are analytical (the budding engineers among us) or who have natural teaching or leadership qualities.
Let your child teach you a new skill! (Be prepared to learn how to play Minecraft or perform a new dance move!) This activity requires students to break a skill down into a set of smaller skills – which is excellent for teaching sequencing, detail, and comprehension.
And when they get to be in charge, well, it’s just more fun!
10. Conduct an Interview
This activity can apply for elementary through high school. Obviously, older students will be expected to conduct a more in-depth interview! The interview can be recorded easily with a digital recorder or phone camera.
Some ideas of people to interview include:
- Family member (grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.)
- Leader at church or in a group
- A veteran at a local VFW or military history museum
- A favorite teacher
11. Create a Scrapbook
This one will appeal to creative kids. The one stipulation: each layout must include a written description! This is a great way to work on sentence and paragraph structure as well as the “flow” of a story.
50 FUN Creative Writing Prompts – Just for Teen Girls: Spark Your Fun-Schooling Adventure! (Purse-Sized Homeschooling Books for Teens) (Volume 1)Be a Better Writer: For School, For Fun, For Anyone Ages 10-15 (The Be a Better Writer Series)
12. Design a Game
A lot of kids enjoy coming up with new games – and they get really creative with them! For this project, guide your child through the process of creating their own game, start to finish.
Let them be responsible for the majority of the project, but be available as a sounding board. As part of the design process, they have to write down their ideas, design a schedule, and keep notes of each step!
13. A Whole New World
When C.S. Lewis was a boy, he and his brother would come up with fantasy worlds. This game would later be the foundation of the Narnia series!
Let your child do the same. This will likely require you to be a sounding board, but it’s actually really fun! Have your child keep notes and illustrations of what they come up with – it makes for a really fun scrapbook or journal!
14. Creature Creation
This activity can go along with #13 or stand on its own. (After all, a fantasy world needs fantastic creatures to populate it!)
This can even turn into a “guide book,” along the lines of Fantastical Creatures and Where to Find Them. (This is really fun to do, with or without the Harry Potter storyline!)
15. Write a Children’s Book
Younger kids can write and illustrate their own story, which makes a wonderful keepsake or gift for grandparents. Older kids can write and design a story for younger ones, inspiring them or teaching a lesson.
Either way, this is a really fun way to teach story elements like setting, plot structure, characters, and more. And they get to make an amazing project that’s all their own!
This can be done in a scrapbook or journal, or you can find blank hardcover books designed for this purpose. Either will work well!
Wrapping It Up
There you have it – 15 fun ideas to brighten up writing instruction in your home! Are there any you would add? Pop into my Facebook group and let me know!