On Wednesday mornings in Su Nei Cieli, we break out our writer’s notebooks. They’re special books for storing ideas, memories, and random jottings. A place to play around with words, and to store sparks for future writing projects.
Every week, we tackle a different random task. We’ve played around with poetry, with simile and metaphor, and we’ve written some very bizarre lists. A couple of weeks ago, we wrote the longest list of words beginning with ‘P’ that the world had ever seen, and then we had a slam poetry competition for the poems that we made with the words from that list. The writer’s notebook is freeing, generative, and playful. It’s all about getting us ready to write.
At BEPS, people often ask us how to support their child’s writing at home. An excellent way to do so by checking in with them about their writer’s notebook. You might even want to start a second notebook that you can use together. If you go to a concert or the movies, encourage your child to glue the tickets in their notebook. If you visit somewhere special, take a photo or collect a postcard to stick in their notebook. Make lists together, ask each other bizarre hypothetical questions, play word games, note the definitions of obscure words, make metaphors together, write comics. Want to try some ideas at home but still feeling a bit stuck? Here are a few activities to get you started:
- Make a list of everything you can think of that is red. Here are some to start you off: lipstick, fire trucks, stop signs, my cheeks when I’m embarrassed, pimples, tomato sauce.
- Write an acrostic poem using every single letter in the alphabet
- Keep your writers notebook with you when you read, and write down any words you don’t understand. Look them up in the dictionary and note their meanings down, so you can include them in your own writing later.
- Imagine you are throwing the birthday party of your dreams. What would you do? Who would you invite? Present the information as a comic.
- Keep a list of all the things that make you happy
- Been somewhere special lately? Stick a memento from the place in your writer’s notebook. Write down 5 special details about the place.
- Write down everything you can think of that begins with the letter ‘s’. Turn your list into a poem, song or short story.