By Cara Bafile
Grade Level: 3-6
Story Preview: When his teacher assigns what seems like a simple writing exercise, John discovers hes out of ideas. Characters from his imagination -- a cowboy, a wicked queen, a longed-for pet, and others -- help him overcome "writer's block." In the end, readers realize that the script theyve just read is John's play.
One effective way to encourage students to write, especially if they are unsure or suffering from "writer's block," is the writing prompt. Writing prompts are creative starters that get kids thinking and writing in a hurry. See the Education World introduction to
Writing Prompts to learn more about them. You'll find examples and tips to help you create your own prompts too. Writing Sparks.
Roles: Narrator, John, Cowboy, Astronaut, Samson, Wicked Queen, and Mom
Setting: present day
Theme: creative writing
- conflict: disagreement
- frustration: disappointment or aggravation
- buckaroo: cowboy
- cowpoke: cowboy
- destination: place one is going to
- persuade: win over
- betrayal: to mislead
- hideous: ugly or horrible
- villains: characters who act against the hero
- fantasy: something imagined
- banter: joking or clever chat
Props: none required
- What was Mr. Lern's assignment to the class?
- What nursery rhyme is John talking about when he says one of his ideas has "been done"?
- What characters speak to John?
- Who is Samson? Why does John consider writing about him?
- Who suggests that John write about real events?
- What does John write about? Is it real or fantasy?
Help students avoid the frustration of writer's block by having them generate a personal writing list. Ask them to write down at least ten topics they would like to explore through writing. They might consider family members, friends, vacations and trips, other memories, books or stories theyve read, famous people they would like to meet, and so on. Encourage students to keep their lists in a journal or other safe place for future reference.
A few additional tips that can assist youngsters in overcoming writer's block are
- Break down the assignment.
- Discuss ideas with parents, teachers, and peers.
- Write the assignment as a letter to a friend.
- Jot down ideas on a personal writing list.
- Respond to something read.
- Use a writing prompt.
Click here for a printable script.
Article by Cara Bafile
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