Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Thankful Writing Activity for Kids

In order to get our kids to love reading and writing, they need to be surrounded by it. Schools refer to this as a "print-rich environment". Basically, it just means that there is "print" surrounding your child at home in all forms - books, magazines, recipes, scripture on the wall, poems, etc. It should also include things that they've had a hand in creating themselves. For example, if they draw a picture, label it, put their name on it, or write a sentence describing their picture. If you're kids are learning to read, don't be afraid to label everything around them and let them see their name all over the house. This will give them plenty of opportunities to interact with text and develop their phonemic awareness (the idea that letters made sounds and are used to build words), which is crucial in order for them to learn to read.

Today, we did a "writing" activity on Thankfulness.  Even if your child isn't ready to write, it's important for them to see you writing and see lots of purposes for writing.  First, we made a list of all the things we were thankful for.  The kids got to pick different colors and tell me what they were thankful for.  Then, as we were writing, I had them help me figure out what some words started with and sound out other words.

After our list was complete, we wrote a sentence for each child telling what they were thankful for.  Kids love to see their names.  In fact, recognizing their name is one of the things that most pre-schools look for so it's great to put their names on EVERYTHING.

Finally, I had the kids move to the table and we drew pictures of something we were thankful for from our list.  Most of them picked something different from the sentences we wrote together.  Then I wrote a second sentence on their picture.

They were very excited to show me their pictures of what they were thankful for and describe everything that they were drawing.  Also, since our lists and sentences are hanging on the wall, they've returned to them throughout the day to point out the words that they recognize - a great way to build up that sight word vocabulary and help them focus on things to be thankful for instead of the things they want to ask Santa for :)

Thanks for stopping by!  I'd love to hear from you in the comments and have you join us back again!
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