Does your child get anxious as they start a writing assignment when they’re staring at a blank sheet of paper?
StoryBuilders is a wonderful tool for answering the question most homeschool moms have heard, “what should I write about?” It’s designed to give students four elements of a story (character, character trait, setting, and plot) in a relaxed and fun way. By taking some of the pressure off students to come up with everything on their own, you are actually giving them the freedom to be more creative.
If you are looking to add more creative writing to your lesson plan this year, StoryBuilders is a quick and frugal way to accomplish this goal. For many kids, coming up with something to write about is the biggest hurdle they face when writing. Staring at a blank sheet can be daunting and often takes a lot of the pleasure out of writing.
This is where these cards shine. They’re designed to help students enjoy the writing process by providing them with story ideas, using a printable deck of cards, split into four categories.
- Character Trait
As your children choose their cards, they are automatically given the main elements of a story, alleviating the dreaded, “I don’t know what to write about.”
There are many ways to choose your cards, but we find that we tend to pick one of two ways:
I lay the cards face down on the table and each girl selects one from each category. Sometimes I will let them choose again if they’re not excited about their choice. It depends on what skill I’m trying to focus on that day.
I give the cards to my children and they sort through them and choose the cards they want to build their story. This tends to be the easier way to get started because they have control over the aspects of the story.
After the selection is finished, it’s time to weave together a story.
Sometimes we do this quickly, with each child developing a short story on the spot. Because they’re doing this orally, and aren’t worried about writing, it is usually easier for them to fill in the blanks between the story elements.
Occasionally I want them to give their stories more depth, so I let them work on them during the week. I usually give the girls guidelines for the story’s length, but they’re responsible for the rest. This allows them to write-up a more elaborate story while working on their writing, spelling and grammar skills.
When to Use StoryBuilders
If you just want to get some creative juices flowing, think about using the cards almost as a game. Have everyone sit down, choose some cards and make up funny stories. This eliminates the pressure of writing and gives your kids the freedom to just be creative.
Sometimes you just need a break from your main language arts program. Let’s face it; this can be an intense subject. If you feel that your kids are getting frustrated with writing, put your normal lessons down and let them do some creative writing with these cards. Or play some fun word board games.
I love using unique tools to help my kids think creatively, and this is definitely one of our favorites. It’s a fun and flexible way to get kids excited about story building.
Because it’s designed for all ages, it’s one of the few creative writing projects your whole family can do together.