Thursday, March 20, 2014

Making Lists: After School Writing Practice

I've got a reluctant writer. I'm sure I'm not alone. Miss First Grader is usually very confident when it comes to school. She loves math and thinks it's fun. She's a voracious reader. But writing... well, she's just not feeling very confident with her abilities. Writing is so important for school success. It crops up in just about every subject. I want her to feel comfortable with the process. 

In order to boost her confidence, I've decided to start adding a little bit of writing work into our after school learning. I promised her I'd make it fun and it wouldn't be a big chore. I want to ease her back into the world of writing.

The first thing we're tackling is lists. Lists are fun! (Or at least I think so.) I decided to begin with lists because they only require words. She doesn't have to construct sentences yet. We'll get to that later. My goal is to get her thinking and brainstorming. 

I created a simple list template. The lists are small and not too scary. I also brainstormed a list of topics. Some are imagination-heavy. Others are based in reality. Choose whatever you think will spark your child's interest.

Example lists:
Flavors to sell at [your child's name]'s ice cream shop
Animals to see at the zoo
Things I want to learn how to do
For sale at [your child's name]'s toy store
The best pizza toppings
Rooms in a castle
My favorite foods
What I need for school
These are a few of my favorite things...

These are the ideas that work best for my daughter. Think about the things that get your child excited. You might choose such topics as: items to take on a camping trip, Rainbow Loom bracelets I want to make, favorite vehicles, favorite sports teams, etc. Really, anything works.

My goal is to get her to stretch her brain a little. We don't spend a lot of time on this now, just one list a day. Eventually we'll move on to other writing activities. But for now, this is the perfect warm-up exercise.

Do you want your own list-making sheets? I've uploaded the one I created for your convenience. Click the link below to download a copy. It prints as one page (landscape) with three lists on each page. Cut them apart and start creating lists.

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  1. This is a great idea and just what I need for my 9 year old son. Like your daughter he loves maths, he's ok at reading, but writing he struggles with. Pinned this and will be trying it out with him next week

  2. I think this is really great. My two sons (10 and 6) make personal lists all the time in their lego moleskin journals, i.e. what to bring on their sleepover, what to do on date night with one or both parents, who their favorite players are in the English Premier League, the countries they want tho visit. I take credit for it since once they each learned how to spell and write they were bestowed the "honor" of helping mommy and writing our errand/grocery lists while I clean up breakfast before we begin our day. So, I appreciate your list ideas because they help expand their mind a bit further…like "the rooms in a castle or mansion", or "things I want to learn about". Thank you for the cute download too. This will make break week and summer vacation a little more fun.

  3. My boys love making lists! Thanks for sharing at After School!


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