“My son loves to read, he reads all the time! But when it comes to writing, now that’s another story. How do I change his attitude about writing?” wondered Sue, mom of a second grader.
Reading and writing can seem worlds apart, but actually can be linked together quite nicely. Below are some tips to help connect the two skills.
When reading your child’s favorite story or book, point out interesting things the author does. For example, maybe the author uses really spectacular descriptive words, writes with engaging vocabulary or uses text and graphic features to grab the reader’s attention. Pointing these features out will help your child to think like a writer.
Ask your child to think about why the author wrote the story. What is the author’s purpose? What is his or her point of view? If you have quite the comedian on your hands, maybe have little Sammy write a funny story or even start out with writing a funny joke.
Another way to connect reading and writing is to have your child write their own ending to a text. Read everything but the ending. Just before finishing the text, close it and have your child write the ending. Then open up the book and check to see what happened. Compare the two endings or have your child read the ending and then change it. Extend a story by having your child write a sequel or Chapter 12 to an 11 chapter book.
While any of the above ideas are great, my most favorite and most successful way to engage early writers is having them write and illustrate an adventure or scary story for a younger audience. Kids love to show off their skills, so use this as a moment to watch them shine! Happy reading and writing!