Learning From Authors

December 01, 2015

Did you know that your child has writing teachers on his bookshelf? The next time he sits down to read, suggest that he keep his eyes open for ideas and inspiration to try in his own writing. Here are areas he can explore.

Choosing words
A precise word has a big impact on what the reader imagines. Maybe the author says a character tiptoed or he stalked. Or that the lake glimmered or was stagnant. Each word conjures up a different image. Your youngster could collect vivid words and phrases from books and consult the list when he’s writing.

Deciding on Structure
How did the author organize the novel? One book might tell a story through a series of letters or emails. Another may start in the present and flash back to the past. Encourage your child to jot down titles, along with notes about the books’ structures. For example, “The Neverending Story (Michael Ende): a story within a story.” He’ll create a handy reminder of different ways to write his own tales.

Selecting point of view
Every person will tell the same story a little differently, depending on his point of view. Shel Silverstein’s poem “Point of View” tells what Thanksgiving dinner would look like from a turkey’s view- point, for instance. Recommend that your youngster examine his own ideas from different angles to decide whose point of view works best. Will his pirate story be more interesting if told by the villain, the hero, or a captive on the ship?

For more great ways you can work together with your child for learning success, be sure to check out this month’s Reading Connection Newsletters for grades K-2 and grades 3-5.

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