Hello to all of the parents, teachers, and caregivers out there who might be using this workshop as part of a lesson plan or enrichment program!
Some of you may have already taken a look at the Kickstarts! Writing Workshop. If you haven't I hope you will check it out! I promise it's full of fun ways to reduce writing stress and get the words flowing again.
For those of you who might find it a little wordy for your little ones (or bigger ones for that matter), I have some helpful hints that should remove any fears you have about using Kickstarts! to help motivate your young (or not so young) writer to participate.
1. Put the lesson in your own words. I tend to rattle on sometimes when giving directions. It works as motivation for some but it can also intimidate shaky readers. When you remove all of the extra words that are meant to make the post feel more like an interactive class than directions for an assignment, the idea in each lesson can be stated in some pretty simple terms.
2. If attention spans are short, keep the writing time short. If writing for five minutes is a chore, writing for a half an hour is going to be torture. Work with what your writer has to offer and extend the time a little at a time or as they show more interest.
3. Be a part of the process. If you are a parent or teacher using this workshop in your lesson plans, remember that you are absolutely allowed to write, too. Make this an activity you do together. You may be surprised at your own response to the writing process.
4. This is not the place for grading. Kickstarts! is meant to help relieve anxiety over the creative writing process. Anyone taking it should not have to worry if the story is "good" or "bad", meets any specific criteria for grammar, spelling, story arc, etc. While those things are all important, none of them mean diddly if the ideas are trapped behind worry that what is on the paper is not good enough.
5. If your child hasn't mastered the skills necessary to write on their own, do it for them. Your three year old will tell you stories all day long if you let them. Keep them in the habit of being creative.
6. And if some of that sounds like work, just remember, the world is really good at forcing creativity into little, well-labeled boxes these days. I can argue that this is a catastrophic practice for the future of humanity. That might sound like I’m being a giant drama llama but I stick to the statement. All of the innovations and accomplishments of the past were brought about by people whose imaginations ran a little wild from time to time.
I hope this was helpful for anyone having trouble making the lessons fit their needs. If you are still having problems, please contact me and I will be happy to help you find a way that works for your writer.
Happy adventuring! ~Brittney Cassity