Friday, September 2, 2011

Treasure Chests - for Creative Writing

The children created "treasure chests" from shoe boxes. Then I gave them a stack of strips of gold paper. We call them treasure" because the are gold and they are very valuable.

I call out questions and the children write a one- or two-word response on one of the strips. Then they fold and put the strip in their chest. Questions are like:
  • A person I would like to meet
  • Something that starts with "g"
  • My least favorite color is
  • One thing I like to do
  • The most beautiful thing I ever saw
  • My mom is ...
  • I want to be a...
  • I wish I could...
We do this every once in awhile to get fresh ideas in their boxes.

Then when we have writing time, they have a boxful of ideas...but they can only draw out one. I set the time. Children seem to lose their "writer's block" with the time  running.  I usually set it for only 3-5 minutes. Some times get only a couple sentences written and other times they get more. But the rule is they must put their pencils down the sescond the timer goes finishing sentences or even words.

Then we read them. The children love to share their stories. I comment on things like a good descriptive word, their use of a recent vocabulary or spelling word, their clear speaking voice, etc. Sometimes a brother or classmate responds with things like "Then what happened?" This is exactly what I hope for. It makes them realize that others want to know about what they are saying.

I save these Some days we take them out and they are to re-read them. Then I have them choose one to write a good paragraph about. This they edit and re-copy in their best penmanship. I don't do this very often as I want them to mostly just enjoy the writing process at this point.

This was a great hit in the classroom, but it works at home too.

1 comment:

  1. Such a good idea - will use when substituting..... loved your hard math problem post too -