Elementary teachers, reading specialists and literacy coaches all know that to be a good writer, children must also be good readers. They need to understand a plot, the characters, and sequencing and understand the vocabulary that moves a plot forward, explain the actions and motives of a character, and comprehend the changes that take place from the beginning to end of a book. All are literacy skills young readers need to be good writers, and conversely to better understand what they are reading.
Students need to have words in their heads. Words to describe people, places, actions, events and emotions. Reading builds vocabulary but using that vocabulary in stories a child writes cement those words for use later.
Next summer, Kids Read Now, in support of current methodologies including The Science of Reading will, for the third year, include a creative writing book sent to every student we serve. “My Stories” has twenty unique and unusual illustrations printed with plenty of lined white space for young authors to create stories of their own.
Each year, we work with award winning artists and illustrators from all walks of life to create a new version, along with parental guidelines to help them work with their kids to create great stories.
Young children tell their stories out loud, while older students write them out. Many parents have posted their stories on social media highlighting their pride in their budding authors and the joy that comes from creating something new.
Literacy specialists on our team helped create the parental instructions that are designed to build fluency, comprehension, sequencing skills and character development.
Thousands of parents surveyed told us their kids liked this element of our program, with comments such as
- “They loved having something fun to do on rainy days.”
- “He really loved the activities, but I think I enjoyed reading his stories the best”
- “It was a good way to express what’s in his imagination.”
- “My daughter loved it and took it camping with us to write in.”