Authors typically write for three reasons: to persuade, to inform, or to entertain. Your child should learn about these reasons for writing in school and should learn how to write for each purpose. Of course, parents can also encourage their children to write for different reasons at home as well. Here are a few ideas to encourage your budding writer to write for different purposes.
- If your child wants to go to a particular amusement park or on a specific family trip, ask him/her to write a letter (or other form of writing) to persuade you to take him/her.
- Encourage your child to take part in your community. Perhaps your neighborhood could use a park or maybe the neighborhood park needs sprucing up. Encourage your child to write a letter to the editor of your local paper or a letter to the neighborhood committee persuading them to take action. Let your child take the lead when it comes to civic support. If he or she notices something that needs to be done, encourage him/her to do something about it.
- (Procedural writing) Help your child write out the recipe for a favorite family meal. Or, if your child creates a new meal, have him/her write out the recipe.
- Have your children become part of the decision making process for a family trip. Have your child research a specific place he/she may want to visit. Encourage him/her to write down ten important facts he learned about the place. (This could be used as a guide to help persuade you to take him/her on the trip – see above)
- Encourage your child to take a moment from a family event (or just a moment from a typical day) and use it as a seed to write a story. Some of our favorite books were written because of a single memory/event in the life of the author.
- If your child is in the habit of telling you funny stories verbally, begin encouraging him/her to write them down. Often parents write down things their child says so they don’t forget them, but how fantastic would it be to have a collection of stories written by your child of the funny day-to-day events/stories he likes to share.
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