Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Villa Villekulla
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Writing encompasses so much. For new writers I think it is helpful to think of the tasks as separate.
a)Imagining the story, or forumlating what needs to be communicated through the written word
c)sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, vocabulary
We don't use a curriculum. What my 6 y.o. has done in the past week to practice these skills (some of these activities were designed/suggested by me, others completely her own ideas):
a)Created a little spiral bound book, The Culture of Unicorns and More,'which she illustrated with scrap paper and unicorn stickers she purchased as a vacation souvenior. She dictated the words to me as I typed them. Once printed she glued the passages into place. It is an extremely cool little book!
b and d)She likes to play a spelling game I adapted from some games in Peggy Kaye's Writing Games. I write 1 *spelling* word at the top of a sheet of paper. (For example, pig - she was having trouble identifying short i sounds when we were reading, and more practice turning p and g the right directions!) She then has 60 seconds to copy that word as many times as she can. She gets 1 penny for each time the copied it, as long as it is legible and spelled correctly. Then, and this is the fun part for her, I give her more words to spell orally. She pays me back 1 penny each time she makes a mistake. So I say, okay, now write "wig." "Oh, shoot, I didnt stump you that time. Try this one then: "wag." She gets it wrong, so I give her a hint, then fuss when I don't get another penny, etc. She LOVES this silliness.
c) We have been enjoying another Peggy Kaye game with sentences. Take a long random list of fun words, heavy on adverbs and adjectives to encourage more complex sentences. Roll a die and try to make a sentence with the next 2, 5, whatever number you roll, words on the list. (We actually use a die on which I have changed the 5 to 2 and the 6 to 3.) I write the sentences down and will say, "that's not one sentence, try again." So she gets sentence structure and sees punctuation.
Like other posters, we find there are many little tasks throughout the week that encourage writing - making a birthday card for a friend, writing a shopping list for a favorite recipe, etc.