Let’s Write a Story

If you want to write a story, you’ll need a few things to get started.

  • You’ll need to know the story’s path.

littleredwritingIn Little Red Writing, a teacher in pencil school tells her class that they are going to write a story.  She tells her students to stick to the path, and Little Red is determined to do just that.  Of course, that’s harder than you might think.  There are all sorts of distractions along the way, and there is some really big trouble in the form of the Wolf 3000–“the grumpiest, growliest, grindingest pencil sharpener ever made.” Joan Holub and Melissa Sweet have teamed up to create a fun fractured fairy tale that also shares some great writing advice for your young storytellers.  (2013. 9780811878692. Gr. 1-3)

  • You’ll need to choose the right words.

monsterscanmoseyThere’s more than one way to walk.  You can saunter or stagger.  Maybe you march or clomp your way along.  In Monsters Can Mosey, Frankie and her mom watch her uncle lurch away, as all zombies do these days, and we explore all sorts of words for getting from one place to another with a spooky sort of twist. Each monster is a distinct sort of scary, and how you describe their movements has an effect on your story.  A page at the end of the book shares some simple tips for choosing the right words for your story. This is an entertaining jaunt into descriptive writing that would add much to a language arts lesson.  (2013. 9781404883208. Gr. 2-4)

  • You’ll need some inspiration.

pictureyourselfSometimes the hardest part of writing a story is coming up with that first idea.  What will your story be about?  Where will it be set?  What details will you include?  Maybe you can find your idea in a photograph.  Picture Yourself Writing Fiction, which you might remember from this post, offers some striking visual examples of inspiration for fiction along with lots of tips and ideas to help young writers get started on their narrative.  Obviously I like this book, since it is the second time I’ve mentioned it on this blog, but I have to recommend the other books in the series as well.  Whether your students are writing poetry, drama, or nonfiction, these books are perfect for the kids who know how to write but struggle with generating ideas. (2012. 9781429661270. Gr. 3-6)

Need a little more help?  Here are a few more books to consider:

What Happens Next, Katie?: Writing a Narrative with Katie Woo (Series: Katie Woo, Star Writer) 2013. 9781404881297. Gr. K-3 – The heroine of the popular fiction series offers writing advice accessible to the youngest writers.

Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon. 2012. 9780761461807. Gr. 1-3 – Ralph overcomes a case of writer’s block in this picture book.

How to Write a Mystery by Cecelia Minden (Series: Language Arts Explorer Junior) 2013. 9781610804882. Gr. 2-4 – The titles in this series review the basics of writing in various genres.

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman. 2013. 9780062091079. Gr- 4-6 – A popular author shares some of his tips for keeping all those weird grammar rules straight.


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