Afterschool Express: Using Playtime for Writing Inspiration

We had a great time celebrating Halloween over the past week.  Every story time seemed to involve books that are thematic to Fall and Halloween.  My daughter has been running around with her costume and horse the past week pretending to be Jessie from Toy Story.  I created a post this week about the Important of Dramatic Play with our children, please Check it out here!  Making real life connections to literacy is so important at this age.   

Using all of this playtime experience, we took some time to write about her character that she dressed.  I just wanted to share, in fact she asked me to :).  I took it as a teachable moment to help her learn Story Elements to my 5 year old.  Although we talk about it all the time during storytime, I haven't had a formal lesson with her.

Teaching Story Elements
I introduced to her a story map and the vocabulary words that go along with it.  We discussed that every story has a Beginning, Middle and End.  We talked about how stories have a problem and a solution.  We even talked about how stories have characters and a setting.  It was a very basic lesson on Story Elements but she really was interested and was able to easily create her very own story.  Here's a Story Map Printable that you can use for your next storytime during your afterschool lessons.  It's a great way to check comprehension. 

First I had her illustrate her book.  We took three pages and I asked her to come up with a beginning, middle and end to the story.  We talked about who was in the story and where they would be.  She decided it would be about Jessie lost in the desert with a camel.  And in the end the camel would help her find her way home to Bullseye.  (too funny).  Then she create her cover for her book. 

Then at another sitting she attached the images she created onto paper so she could write her words to describe the pictures she made.  Here's was she wrote for her story... 

Jessie's Lost
Once upon a time Jessie met a camel in the desert. 
Jessie was lost. 
Then Jessie was home.  She was happy to see Bullseye. 
The End. 

All very basic but she created all by herself which I think is a great for a 5 year old.  Her pictures of coarse have much more detail in them and explain a lot more about the story.  She captured the basic understand of problem and solution as well as beginning, middle, end and characters.  Then she decided to teach herself how to write fancy... 5 year olds can keep you on your toes! 


maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love her fancy letters - and her drawings are adorable!

Robyn said...

This is wonderful! We love writing books and making stories too- my current trouble though is my kindergartener doesn't want to write- he draws all the time and love to make up stories but really fights me when I incourage anything more than writing his name. Often he shuts down completely and quits his project. But he really needs practice writing and I know he could be writing more independantly if he had a little confidence (he doesn't have much when it comes to writing). I would love some ideas.

Amanda said...

That is fantastic that he likes to write down his stories in pictures. I would let him tell you the stories orally and have you write them down underneath or next to his pictures. Another idea is to have him type his stories. We really have enjoyed I upload a picture and type the words to the story, then we record our 5 year old reading each page. The technology component can be a big motivator for kids not interested in writing (all kids are different!) Kim - what are your thoughts?

Robyn said...

I have been writing his stories underneat pictures for sometime (I do the same for my 4 year old) I love his creativity and the voice that comes through.

I hadn't thought of having him type- that's a great idea and I'm going to try it right away. He's very technilogically savvy- a little computer bug. That may be a great angle.

I just wish I had a way to encourage his confidence in his own handwriting and ability to write independently and use inventive spelling. As an educator (I taught kindergarten for 3 years) I know each kid is different. I just don't want to push him too hard (have him shut down and not want to write at all) but I know he needs practice to improve. I'm hoping his 'light' in this area turn on soon :) Any more ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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