Your author may not be an accomplished author yet, but its not early to start trying to become one.
In this activity, your child and you can work on putting a small book together which tells a simple narrative. And then have fun illustrating the story.
I can’t promise you’ll get a movie deal out of this, but your child will get to practice writing and how to create a narrative.
Objective(s) of activity:
Practice forming narrative structure by coming up with a simple story that can be made into a small book.
However, the narrative that you come up with must include a jumble of words that you randomly pick out from the dictionary or a random word generator.
Targeted age group:
Children of ages 6 and up can do this activity. Younger children will require more help creating the narrative and writing it down.
Number of participants:
One child is optimal for this activity. More children may have competing input into the story which would lead to disagreements which you will need to manage.
Grab a dictionary.
If you do not have a physical copy of a dictionary, just do an online search for a random word generator. I found a decent one here which allows you to specify number of syllables, starting/ ending letters and so on. For this activity, you can just pick any 8 words without using these criteria.
Pick out 8 words from the dictionary or the random word generator.
If you are using a physical dictionary, you can flip to a random page and get an age-appropriate word from that page.
Involve your child in this word selection process whether you are using a dictionary or a word generator.
Using a random word generator online, I picked out the following 8 words.
Whichever method you use to pick out words, you should select words that you think can be woven into a story more easily. But you do not want to make it too easy.
Having a few difficult words in there will certainly exercise your child’s creativity.
This is also a great opportunity for vocabulary building as you can explain words that come up that your child is not familiar with.
The next step is to come up with a general narrative that must include all 8 words. You can allow different inflections for the chosen words.
Using the words above, this is the short narrative I came up with:
There are two things you can do after writing down this narrative.
If you go this route, get your child to write out the story on colored paper and then draw the pictures that go with the story.
You will basically have created a mini-book written by your child and you.
2. If you are doing this activity with older children, they may not be too interested in creating
these mini-books. They may find the narrative creation aspect challenging in and of itself.
In this case, just generate a new set of 8 words and come up with a new narrative using these
If you go this route, having a little competition between you and your child, or among different children will make this quite exciting.
You can then compare who was able to come up with a more interesting story and give points
Notes for scaling up/ down difficulty:
The difficulty level for this activity can be increased or decreased by just increasing/ decreasing the number of words that have to be incorporated into the story.
Another way to make the activity more interesting is to fix the genres.
For example, in one round, you can require that the story be an adventure story. In another round, you can require a romantic angle. Choose the genres which you think are appropriate for the kids you are working with.
I would love to hear some of the stories you guys came up with. Share in the comments below!