The right question is worth a thousand words. Well, maybe not a thousand words, but quite a few sentences! Just like adults, children writers often get stuck even when they are motivated to write through playful activities.
Asking engaging questions makes a world of difference to get those pencils moving (or keys clicking).
Here are some question pointers:
- Ask open-ended questions that allows the child to answer in complete thoughts rather than one word answers
- Listen to what the child is telling you about their story, and ask branching questions to help them add details
- Be engaged with the child to learn about their thinking and imagination, ask questions that you really want to know about- children are masters of knowing when an adult is faking interest
- Ask questions to help the child add details
- Use the character names and details from the child’s writing in the question to show your involvement
- Ask questions to help the child move the story forward- What happens next questions
- If this is to be the child’s story be careful not to get so involved that you influence the child’s writing with your ideas.