Write What You Know

Image may contain: plant and foodAre your children having trouble thinking of something to write? Writing isn’t always words. Who wants to read a book with an unattractive cover? Why not design the cover or make a few illustrations first, then write. This might be especially helpful for children writing nonfiction. It may also be helpful to spend time observing or creating something to write about.

This week we created a pond from an old kiddie pool. The kids filled the pool with water, added a few large rocks and began the search for the flora and fauna. Oh the excitement, the decisions, and the adventures.

  • Tadpoles from the pool cover.
  • A tiny bream too small to fry.
  • Red-eared Slider turtles we’d cared for all winter.
  • Lily pads from a store carrying pond supplies.
  • A few small goldfish.
  • Sparkling jewels and rocks from here and there.
  • Pondweeds from a cousin’s pond.
  • Non-fiction books from the library.

Now we really did have a story or stories. The kids drew “their pond” because it was theirs. They cared about their drawings and stories. The possibilities were/are endless.

  • How to build a pond
  • What is a Pond Habitat?
  • Life Cycle of a Frog
  • Turtles
  • Fish
  • and the knowledge of pond life for realistic or fantasy fiction stories.

A few hours invested in “field trips” paid off in multi-leveled, multi-genre writing experiences that were interesting and exciting. The children talked about their project, explained their projects and showed off their pond to any and all visitors.

Writing can never be taught in a vacuum or by vicarious means. Experiences will always be the first step to awesome writing. So, when is the next field trip?


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