Write a Superhero Story

Super Hero to the Rescue!

Think of the superheroes you know from comics, movies, and television. If you think they are fun to watch, they are even more fun to create!

What You Need: large sheet of butcher paper or cardboard, poster paints, paintbrush

Play!cartoon child drawing a superhero

  1. Draw a large outline of a super hero on your paper or cardboard. You can draw it freehand or find an adult to trace around.
  2. Use paint to add details. Continue reading
Categories: adventure writing, Fantasy and Fairy Tales | 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

Magical Wand Words

Magical wands add sparkle to play and writing.

Image of girl with magic wandPlay!

Make a magic wand for lots of swishing magical pretend. Use a stick with any type of star attached to the end for a traditional fairy tale wand. Don’t forget to glue lots of glitter to make a sparkle.

Now that you have a wand, what kind of magic do you want to make? Play and pretend then write your magic wand stories to share. Continue reading

Categories: Early Childhood, Fantasy and Fairy Tales | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Jump Start Podcast: Motivation

pencil drawingWriting Jump Start Podcast

Welcome to the first edition of Writing Jump Starts, a podcast on teaching writing. I’m Rebecca Olien the creator and moderator. As a teacher and author of over fifty books for children and educators, I have picked up a few tips and insights along the way I’d like to share. I hope you enjoy listening!

Episode 1: Motivation
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3104906/EDTECH%20513%20podcast_Olien.mp3

What does it take to motivate children to want to write? Listen to this podcast for motivation tips for teaching writing that just may jump start your own writing.

Stay Tuned for Future Episodes…

  • Writing and Technology
  • Global Connections
  • Kids Find Their Voice
  • Writing for Making a Point
  • Fun Collaborative Writing Projects
  • Painless Editing and Revision
  • How to Motivate Kids and Meet the Common Core Writing Standards

Categories: Talking Points | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Blast Off Space Adventure

This play to write activity is out of this world!
Play! Create the setting, characters, and rocket for playing out a space adventure.

Materials:
astronaut:
a clothespin, markers, plastic spray bottle top, foil, pipe cleaner
rocket: cylinder can or tube, construction paper, cardboard
space creature:
clay or any other materials you choose!

Make an astronaut:

  • draw a face on the round top
  • wrap a pipe cleaner around the clothespin for arms
  • dress the clothespin in a foil spacesuit
  • add a plastic top for a helmet

Make a Spaceship: Glue construction paper around a potato chip can or cardboard tube. Add a paper cone top and cardboard fins. Tape a paper cone to the top. Tip: If you want a spaceship that is more sturdy, use a cylinder can like the kind potato chips come in. This makes a good secure place for your astronaut to travel in too!

Make a Space Creature: Space creatures can be made anyway you like. It is up to your imagination! The one in the photo is clay, but you might want to make one that can fit inside the spaceship in case they want to travel together in your story.

Write About It! Continue reading

Categories: adventure writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Playful Learning

Professor Stephen Heppell at Bournemouth University on the importance of playful learning at school and at home.
http://youtu.be/Lm0Ftm6EWLM
How do you feel about playful learning? Any suggestions, ideas, or insights of your own?

Categories: Talking Points | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Tongue Twisters

Saying tongue twisters is sure to make kids laugh. Writing and sharing them with friends is even more fun.bug copy

What You Need: drawing paper & pencils

Play to Write!
To get started write a sentence using as many words as possible beginning with the same letter.

tongue twister examples

Here are some examples.

Arrange the words into a pleasing order. It is fun when the words go together to make a silly situation.

Read your sentences quickly five times in a row. Did any tangle your tongue? If so, you just made a tongue twister!

Illustrate your best tongue twister and staple the pages together into a book to share with friends and family.

Categories: Humor Writing, Poetry, Writing Games | 2 Comments

Animal Riddle Valentines

Riddles are fun to write and create, especially animal riddles for Valentine’s Day.

What You Need: scrap paper, glue, scissors, thesaurus (print or online- not essential))

valentine deer made of hearts

A valentine dear to the heart!

Play! 1. Cut out lots of different sizes, shapes, and colors of hearts.
2. Arrange hearts into animal shapes and glue onto a white piece of paper.
3. Next, write your riddle or riddle poem (see Write About It) and place on the paper next to your Valentine animal.
4. You can also make these into clever cards. Put the riddle on the outside and open the card to find the Valentine animal inside.

Write About It! Continue reading

Categories: Animals/ Nature, Holidays, Humor Writing, Poetry | 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

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: