Here’s a great idea for your 4th-8th graders: Challenge them to write 100-word stories! Not only will this activity appeal to your more reluctant writers, it helps drive home the importance of writing descriptive, concise sentences.
- Read a few familiar folk tales, fairy tales, or fables together.
- Have your children choose one of their favorites and place it in a new setting (in the past, the future, outer space, or a laboratory, for example).
- Next, have them add characters such as a robot, scientist, detective, or superhero.
- Instruct them to write a story that has exactly 100 words. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Try doing this exercise several times. Then, ask your children to pick one of their stories and turn it into a polished final piece. At this point, feel free to let them use more than 100 words, but only as long as they don’t repeat main words and the extra words are really necessary to the story’s success.
Copyright © 2011 Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.
Kim Kautzer is a regular contributor to TheHomeschoolMom blog. A veteran homeschooler, author, and conference speaker, Kim loves to help parents feel more confident about teaching writing. With a heart to inspire and equip apprehensive parents, Kim encourages homeschoolers that teaching writing is much more objective than they think, and that with the right tools at their fingertips they can lead and motivate their struggling writers. Award-winning WriteShop, her unique and successful writing program, has been honored as one of Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Kim and her husband Jim homeschooled for 15 years. Two of their three children have graduated from Christian universities, and their son is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology. The Kautzers enjoy their passel of grandchildren and their empty nest in Southern California. Kim blogs about writing at In Our Write Minds.