At third-grade level, children have now begun to build up sufficient writing skills to begin writing for pleasure. We’ve created these writing activities to help make writing fun and engaging for your child. We hope they enjoy them!
A wonderful way to spark the imagination of your child is to supply them with a range of story features and ask them to build a narrative around them.
Prepare a pile of cards detailing examples of hero characters, villainous characters, and interesting objects. You’ll also need larger images of story settings.
Ask your child to select a card from each pile and lay them face down in front of them. Then instruct your child to turn over their cards one at a time, arranging them neatly on the image of their setting (example below).
Once your child has arranged their cards and thought of names for their characters, they can begin writing.
You might like to have some story openings on hand for anyone struggling to get their story started.
Children often respond well to team activities. It is a great way of taking the pressure off their shoulders and helps remove the responsibility they may feel in crafting an entire piece of writing themselves. One of the ways you can do this is with ‘Teamwork Acrostics’.
The activity is very simple. Arrange children into teams between 4 - 6 people around a table. Place on the table the corresponding number of acrostic poem writing prompts (see example below) so that each child has one to start with. Then instruct children to select a letter and complete one element of the poem. When they have finished, pass the poem to the right hand side around the table and continue in this way until all poems are complete.
Sometimes, the best way to inspire great writing is by reading great examples. You could do this by reading alongside your child or by challenging them to pick up a storybook they love. Ask them to make notes on the aspects of the book that interest them the most, such as characters, events or settings. Finally, once they’ve finished reading, set them the task of answering a short book report template all about the book they have read. You can use this helpful template below or invent your own questions with your child.
Creating a comic book is a great way to get your child excited about writing as it is often a new, interesting format for them to explore. It also enables children to tell their stories through drawings alongside small sections of writing. This can make the activity appealing for those children who don’t usually enjoy writing long paragraphs in a traditional storybook format.
A great way to inspire your child is to complete a practical activity and then invite them to write about what they did. It can be really fun to cook a simple dish together and then challenge your child to write a recipe and instructions for it. This can be as simple as making a sandwich. It just needs to include enough steps and ingredients to inspire the written work afterwards.
This is a really great activity to set up for children to take part in on a weekly basis. You’ll just need to prepare a bank of amusing or interesting images for your child to write captions for.
Animals can make great subjects for these caption competitions as they can be caught in some amusing situations. You can also use photos that you have taken on trips together with your child, as they respond very well to situations they associate with. This short and snappy activity might just provide the spark for a reluctant writer who normally feels intimidated by having to write long form writing.
You’ll find that the vast majority of third-grade children will love this activity as they’ve almost certainly got a particular animal (real or fantastical) that they are very interested in and knowledgeable about. You can harness this passion and turn it into a wonderful piece of writing.
Here are a few tips for how to get the most out of this activity:
Allow your children time to read and watch videos on the animal they have chosen to write about
Encourage children to draw the animal and label the facts they know around it. This can be very useful when they come to write their long-form report.
Supply a few questions to help children structure their report.
Night Zookeeper makes writing fantastically fun for children aged six to twelve.
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