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Social connections through writing continued...

Hi, FLOW-ers,

Here are a few more writing activities that aim to help keep your kiddos engaged and connected with friends and family.

1. Ask your child to consult the dictionary and pick out an adjective that they have never seen before. Instruct them to write the definition of the word, write a sentence using the word, and consult a thesaurus to find three synonyms for the word. Next, ask them to send their chosen word, definition, sentence, and synonyms to a friend. Ask the friend to write a story or a poem using the word. Once the work is finished have the friend send the completed poem or story back to your kiddo. Invite friends or family to send a word, definition, and synonyms to your kiddo.

2. Ask your kiddos to write a book review for a friend about a book that they have recently read and enjoyed. In the review direct them to consider all of the things that they enjoyed about it: the main characters, the conflict (what challenges the main character faced), their favorite character, what the story was about, what part of the story they connected with, the genre (realistic fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, etc.), who the author is and if there are other books they would recommend by the author, why they would recommend the book, who would they recommend it to (think age, interest, etc.). Remember that while the book review can include a brief summary of the story, it should not include any spoilers for the audience. For younger kids they can complete this as a list. For older kids try to have them write their review in paragraphs.

3. We create centos at FLOW all the time because they are so fun. A cento is a patchwork poem (or collage) that is composed of lines from other authors' words. Ask your child to read between at least five to eight poems and discover lines that they enjoy or find interesting. This is a great opportunity to discuss image or descriptive language.

Ask your kiddos to copy the lines down and mix the different lines together. This is a great opportunity to use glues and scissors if you have the ability to print copies of various poems or if you have magazines that you don't mind your kiddos cutting up. As always drawings to accompany the poem are a great addition. Have your kiddos take a photo of their completed centos and share with a friend. As an extension, friends could use the lines from your kiddos' cento and reorder them to see what kind of poetic magic can occur.

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