How-To

8 Writing Activities for the Younger Student

8 Writing Activities for the Younger StudentYes, they must learn to write their letters and practice their handwriting.  But “writing” is more than the simple mechanics of holding a pencil. Here are a few writing suggestions for the younger student as he develops his mechanical skills:

  1. Tracing.  One way for a younger student to practice his handwriting is to trace the letters of the alphabet.  But handwriting practice doesn’t have to equate to repeatedly tracing a string of the same letter.  Mix it up.  Use a handwriting worksheet creator and let him trace favorite lines from stories of interest.
  2. Copywork. One word, one phrase, one sentence, or one paragraph depending on your child’s level of ability.  If possible, let him choose his own copywork from a favorite read.  Choose worthwhile sentences.  This process provides input that will result in creative output down the road.
  3. Booklet writing.  Here is where your long-arm stapler comes in handy!  At one point we had dozens of booklets lying about in various stages of completion.  A booklet is small and inviting.  Hand one to a child, and he will find a way to fill it.  The simplest booklet to make:  Fold several sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper in half and staple in the middle.  Consider this the first step on the path to notebooking.
  4. Written narration. After reading a favorite book, have him tell you what happened; or for a longer book, what happened in a particular scene. Depending on his ability, you may need to have him dictate his narration to you and insert it into a handwriting worksheet generator or print it on paper for him to copy.  Keep it simple.
  5. Dictation. In the beginning, dictation works best after copywork.  Have your student study what will be dictated, going over any unknown words, difficult spellings, punctuation, or capitalization.  Then dictate the passage to him slowly.  Again, choose writing models worthy of studying.
  6. Writing from a model. Have your child use a favorite short story as a model to create his own similar short story.  Sometimes reference books work best as they remove the pressure to be creative, letting a child write what he knows rather than being required to invent something.
  7. Letter writing. Depending on his level, he can dictate to you and you can create the format for him to copy on another sheet of paper.  Or he can copy a model from an English grammar book, modifying the model to suit his purpose.
  8. Write something every day.  His choice.  Whether copying from favorite passages or working on the next great novel, instilling the habit of writing every day will be the one thing that will have the biggest effect on his writing.  As Dr. Ruth Beechick states, “Learn to write, write.”

 

Additional Resources

Activity: Tracing
The first step on the path to writing.

Activity: Copying
Learn to write by copying the best.

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #2 Copybook10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #2 Copybook
The beginning of a lifelong adventure, and suggestions for getting started.

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #4 Writing10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #4 Writing
More suggestions for writing every day.

Sheldon’s Primary Language Lessons
Model letter in Lesson XLVI (page 62) and exercises in letter writing in Lesson LXXV (page 101).

 

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Handwriting Worksheet Creator
Invaluable free tool that allows you to create copywork sheets.  These can be used for tracing or copywork by leaving blank lines at the bottom of the printing.

Interactive Flip Book Maker
What is your child interested in?  Bugs? Letters? Dogs? Rocks?  Lots of ways to use a flip book.

Shape Books {Free}
Interesting paper to get those creative juices flowing!

Winnie the Pooh Copywork Pages
Illustrated copywork pages from Winnie the Pooh. These are free downloads from All That’s Good Publishing.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Room to illustrate at the top and write descriptions or narrations underneath.