Last week, Rachel’s teacher pulled me to one side and told me that she had been very upset the day before.
They had been doing extended writing – making up stories – and she had become a little hysterical as she couldn’t think of anything to write.
As all mums do, I immediately panicked. Is this my fault? Am I not spending enough time with her? Do I mot encourage her enough to use her imagination?
But this isn’t about me, it’s about her and it’s a cry for help.
So I asked for advice. Of course Auntie Sarah, being a writer, gave some great advice, as did some other mums, teachers, writer friends and many others and so I set about tackling story-writing for children.
First of all, when you are lacking ideas or confidence it is easier to think of the story in little sections.
All stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.
So I made her a little card that gives her some ideas for how to begin a story, what sort of things she should think about for the middle, and suitable endings.
That evening, at bath time, we talked a lot about making stories up, we made some up together and we talked about not worrying too much about spelling and also how stories don’t have to be really long.
Then she went away, set herself a timer and wrote some fab little stories – I may well write them up and post them on here!
But there are lots of other ideas I was given about how to encourage children to use their imaginations.
Here are some of them:
1. Make a story bag
2. Look at a painting and make a story up to explain the painting
3. Give them the beginning of a story and let them write the rest – Activity Village has some fantastic resources for this!
4. make a game card with 6 different people, places and themes – throw a dice three times to choose the three items and then they have to make up a story about those things
5. watch a film or read a book and write a recount
6. choose a toy and make up a story about that toy.
We will be/have been giving all of these a go! I will keep you posted with all of our stories!