Have you ever tried giving human characteristics to something nonhuman? It's called personification and it's a fun way to get kids hooked on writing. They may not realize it, but they're probably very familiar with personification. It's prevalent in many movies (Cars, Toy Story), tv shows (Doc McStuffins, Thomas & Friends) and children's books (Corduroy, Otis, or The Little Engine That Could). And, those are just a few examples I could come up with off the top of my head. Recently, I set up this personification activity for my daughter to give her a little after school writing practice.
Pictures of flowers
Pen or pencil
To set-up the project, I found several close-up pictures of flowers to print. I used the search term "flower" in the Creative Commons search and found many choices. (The Creative Commons is a great place to find royalty-free images to use for projects such as this.) I downloaded several different pictures, added them to a Word document, and printed in black-and-white. You could also search through coloring pages to find your images. Finally, I cut out each image and glued them to the top half of a sheet of notebook paper. The process was simple and only took a few minutes of my time.
When Miss First Grader got home from school, I had the sheets all ready for her. I let her pick out a flower then gave her a writing challenge.
Use the marker to give your flower a face and turn it into a person. Once you're done, give your flower a name and then write four sentences about your flower person.
Since this was our first time doing this project, I guided her through the writing a bit. I asked questions such as: "Where does your flower live?" "What do they like to do?" "What are some of their favorite things?" I tried to get her thinking about her flower as a person and not just a flower.
Miss First Grader named her flower Daisy. Daisy is 6 years old, likes pizza, and is always happy. I love to see her imagination at work!
Is your child not interested in flowers? Look for pictures of vehicles, buildings, trees, or toys instead.
Make it a family adventure!
Cost: Under $5. You probably have everything you need already.
Planning time: 30 minutes. Most of your prep time will be spent finding images and printing.
Ages: 6 and up. This project is best enjoyed by kids who are comfortable writing. If you want to do this with a younger child, let them dictate their ideas and a parent or older sibling can help with the writing.
Time needed: Around 30 minutes
If you want to do this as a family adventure instead of an afterschool project, add in sharing time. Let everyone take turns acting out their flower character. It's fun to see where everyone's imagination takes them!
You can find more fun writing ideas on my Reading and Writing Pinterest board.