Science Writing

Life of a Snowball

Let it snow! This is a great time to motivate children to write wintery stories. This one is especially fun as kids imagine themselves as a snowball. During the writing process they will naturally make connections to weather and the water cycle.

What You Need: Snow! It’s not necessary but it really helps make this writing activity come to life.

photo of snowball

My life really changed once I became a snowball…

Play! Discuss the story writing idea about the life of a snowball. Use story building questions to gather ideas. This could be fun to do outside on a snowy day. The children make a snowball for each idea they come up with. There are bound to be lots of ideas when the children return inside to write!

Let’s Write!Use these prompts to get the story rolling!
Beginning: Describe what the conditions were before the snowball. How hard was it snowing? Does the story start in a cloud? What was it like there?
When did the snow turn into a snowball? Who made it? What did it feel like? What was the new snowball feeling and thinking? What does it want to do? Does the snowball talk or make noise? What does it sound like?

Middle: Now let’s add some action! Snowballs don’t just sit there! What was the snowball used for? Was it added to other snowballs to make a snowman, sculpture, fort?
Was it thrown? Where did it land? What happened to it? Was it changed? Did someone else pick it up?
How is the snowball feeling as these things are happening? Is it enjoying it’s life? Does it want something? How will the snowball get what it wants?

End: What happens to the snowball in the end of the story? Does it become something else? Does it melt? If it melts, where does it go?

Present your stories: Take photos of the snowballs to include with your stories. Act out the snowball stories outside with real snowballs.

Categories: adventure writing, Holidays, Humor Writing, Science Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Playful Writing Book Now Available!

Playful Writing Cover image

Writing for fun and discovery!

Find 150 playful writing explorations for young children. Activities include a creative start and uses writing as a natural extension of self-expression, and playful encounters. Prompts and guiding questions keep children writing for real purposes children care about. Each activity includes Early Writer ideas for those emergent learners, as well as Ready Writer activities for those ready for more advanced and complete writing projects.

The playful writing activities are organized into 15 chapters. That include a combination of informational and fictional writing experiences. Take a look!

Playful Writing Link

Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Early Childhood, Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Holidays, Humor Writing, Poetry, Science Writing, Talking Points, Writing Games | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spooky Shadow Stories for Halloween

Halloween is a perfect time to bring out the flashlights to write and perform spooky stories by flashlight.flashlight

What You Need: 

•Flashlights
•Scraps of cardstock
•Colored plastic
Play!
Using a wall, ceiling, or piece of white cardstock as a screen, hands can be moved in front of the light to make shadow animals and creatures.
Children experiment as they discover how to make their shadows get bigger, smaller, and dance in front of the light.
Shapes cut from cardboard or heavy paper can be used as characters and props to act out Halloween stories and poems. Continue reading
Categories: adventure writing, Holidays, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Up Watermelon?

You know how fun it is to make a Jack-o-Lantern, how about making a watermelon head perfect for summer fun?
What You Need: watermelon, colored paper or cardboard or a collection of other fruit or vegetable piecespaper watermelon head example
Play!
Use imaginations and a group effort to turn the watermelon into a fun creature. Attach colorful paper/cardboard cutout features with toothpicks, draw with non-toxic markers, or add pieces of fruit and vegetables with toothpicks.
Write About It:
Watermelon Head Interview
  1. Write a list of 6 questions for your watermelon friend to answer.
  2. Write out the answers to these questions from the watermelons point of view. Research as needed to find out how the watermelon might answer the question.
  3. Write the questions and answers into a script.
  4. Record or videotape the interview with one student being the interview and another student speaking for the watermelon.
  5. You could also turn your ideas into a picture book with captions describing Watermelon’s most remarkable traits and adventures.
Categories: Animals/ Nature, Humor Writing, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wordy Wind Wands

Here is a quick and simple writing activity perfect for a windy day. Watching words fly in the wind sure beats the old worksheet, doesn’t it? Even better, this activity uses recycled and found materials.

What You Need: Sticks, newspaper, markers, glue, scissors

Play Time!

photo of wind wand

Writing in Motion

  1. Collect sticks about a foot long.
  2. Cut newspaper into half-inch strips.
  3. Use markers to write on the strips.
  4. Glue strips to the top half of the wand.

Write About It!
The magic involves writing on the strips and watching the words flutter and spin in the wind.
Here are some ideas:

  • Young children use the paper strips to write “w” words and letters.
  • Fill strips with words that describe the wind.
  • Write windy tongue twisters similar to the title of this activity!
  • Write wonder-why questions on the strips. (I wonder why the wind blows? I wonder where the wind goes?)
  • Turn each strip into a line for a poem that can be read anyway the wind flutters.
Categories: Early Childhood, Poetry, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Groundhog’s Day Shadow Puppet

It that time again! Time for groundhogs to shine in the spotlight!

groundhog puppet shadow

Ta daa!!!

What You Need: cardboard scraps, scissors, flashlight or lamp

Sample of cardboard groundhog cutout

Cartoon groundhog puppets add to the fun

Play!
1. Draw an outline of a groundhog on a stiff piece of cardboard. This can be a cartoon version like the example. It is fun to have the arms, ears, and tail stick out to create more interesting shadows.
2. Cut out the animal. Use a paper punch to make holes for the eyes. Cut out the mouth if desired.
3. Tape the groundhog to a pencil (eraser side down to avoid pokes).
4. Play together to hold the flashlight and move the groundhog next to a wall or door in a darkened room in order to see the shadow.

5. Hold and move the groundhog at different angles and distances from the light to discover how the shadow grow and changes. Move the flashlight as well to see how this changes the shadow.
6. Play and pretend with the groundhog as a character. Act out the groundhog getting ready for Groundhog Day.

Write About It!
What can happen when a silly groundhog puppet see’s it shadow? Kids will come up with lots of ideas when playing with their shadow puppets. Perhaps the groundhog is afraid of its own shadow, or thinks a bigger dark groundhog is following him. Maybe the groundhog decides to come up with a plan to make sure he does or doesn’t see his shadow on the big day. These fun observations and playful encounters create great Groundhog Day stories.

Categories: Animals/ Nature, Holidays, Humor Writing, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rainbow Writing- Guest Blogger Cristina Luther

Children help make homemade crayons to create colorful rainbow writing.  Submitted by guest blogger and teacher- Cristina Luther

What You Need: old wax crayons, muffin pans

Play Time!

photo of crayons with wrapper removed

Step 1
Remove paper from colors and place in muffin tin cups

For  this  activity,  I  had  four  children,  ages  three  and  under,  from   my  daycare  participate. Each  child  helped  me locate broken  crayons  in  our  drawing  drawer. While preheating  the  oven  to  300  degrees,  I  removed the  paper  from  the  crayon  chunks.

Melted crayons

Step 2
Crayons melted in warm oven

The  chunks were  placed  in  the  cups  of  an  old  muffin  tin.  Each cup  was  filled  about  half  way.  I  had  the   children  arrange  the  chunks  in  any  way  they  wished. Prior  to  placing  the  tin  in  the  oven,  I  turn  the  heat   completely  off.  The  tin  was  put  in  the  oven  and  left  in  until  the  oven  had  almost  completely  cooled. After  letting  the  tin  cool  off  on  the  counter  for  20  minutes,  we moved  the pans  to  the  refrigerator.

photo of cooled crayons

Step 3
Remove cooled crayons

After  another  20  minutes,  the  wax  had  hardened  enough  for  the  crayons  to  be  removed.  Each  child   immediately  took  the  crayons  they  had  created  and  began  doodling  on  their  papers.

children using crayons

Let the rainbow writing begin!

Play to Write! The  children  absolutely  loved  that  they  could  make  their  own crayons.  They  enjoyed  finding  the broken   crayons  in  the  drawer  and  sorting them  while  I  removed  the  papers.  Each  child  chose  which  colors  they   liked most.  Their  favorite  part  of  the  activity  was  getting  to  actually  use  their creation.  They  did  not   quite understand  that  they  would  be  making  something that  they  could  actually  use  until  I  handed  them   their  papers  and asked  them to draw.  Because  of  the  laughs  and  giggles  this  activity  was  responsible  for,  I  plan on  doing  it  again  soon!

Categories: Early Childhood, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Shadow Stories

Turn shadows into fun story characters with nothing more than the flap and wave of fingers, a

bright wall, and a dark night (or dark room!).

What You Need: lamp or flashlights, wall or ceiling

Play!

Darkness comes early on these wintery days. With a little light projected onto a wall and lots of imagination, children have lots of fun creating shadow animals and other story characters.
Try out these old time favorites and soon children will be making up their own versions or birds, animals, and people.

shadow animals: elephant, rabbit, bird, and dog

Try these classic animal shadows!

Once the children have their own favorite characters, encourage them to interact with each other to let the stories begin! Continue reading

Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For the Birds!

It is the season for birds singing, building nests, and strutting their feathers. Join in the action with your own silly bird who wants to join the flock!
What You Need: Colorful tag board, pipe cleaners, glue, scissors, stapler Optional: googly eye, feathers, paper fastener

Play!

Photo of paper bird.

How do you think the big pink bird will fit in with the goldfinch on the feeder?

Use your imagination to create a colorful bird from colored tag board. Add some fun moveable parts by attaching wings to the body with a paper fastener and gluing on googly eyes. Bend pipe cleaners into legs and feet that cling to branches or other objects. These can be stapled to the body. Make your bird bright, bold and silly looking by adding other embellishments.

Now play with your bird in different outdoor locations to help you think of funny situations your bird might get into in nature.

Write About It!

Continue reading

Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Humor Writing, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Magnificent Museum

Turn collections and creative artifacts into a museum with labels and signs to inform and entertain.

kids museum photo

The Amazing Dinosaur Museum

What You Need:

collection of interesting objects found and/or made

a space to set up displays such as a card table, counter, or closed boxes

paper and pens to make labels

tape, clay and craft sticks for holding up signs

Play!

Sort through your favorite collections for object to put on display in your museum.

Make other objects to add to your museum collection. For example: a clay dinosaur bone, a miniature mask, beads strung as jewels, clay arrowheads, miniature artwork

Decide how you want to display the collection for the museum.

Write About It!

Continue reading

Categories: Animals/ Nature, Science Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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