If you’re homeschooling, chances are you have more than one kiddo at home with you. And if you’re anything like me, you’re frequently on the lookout for activities to engage all of the kids at once.
Collaborative writing is great for this: participants work together to create one piece of writing.
Aside from being tons of fun, collaborative writing has some useful developmental perks:
Participants construct new knowledge. They take in what others have created, evaluate it, and synthesize that content with their own thoughts to create a new idea.
Participants face challenges. They use problem-solving skills to figure out how the pieces fit together to create the whole.
Participants see how other people think and compose. Analyzing another person’s thought process aids in developing one’s understanding of how she learns.
Participants interact with others in a learning environment. They discover and benefit from the social nature of writing.
If you’re ready to give collaborative writing a whirl, gather your family around the table and set a timer for ten minutes.
- Give everyone a piece of paper and something to write with, then explain that you’ll be writing a story together, line by line.
- Each person writes the first line or two of her story at the top of the page, then passes it to the right.
- The next person reads what has been written and adds another sentence or two to the story.
- When he is finished, he passes it to the right once again.
- Continue this process until the timer sounds or for as long as your family wishes.
- Once the writing is complete, return the stories to their original authors and take turns sharing the results. The finished products are usually quite humorous and a blast to read.
Have a pre-reader/pre-writer? Pair him with a partner or have him draw his part of the story.
Give each writer a photo or image as inspiration for the story and pass the photo along with the paper.
Have each participant choose a line from a poem, song or published story to begin the piece.
Explore online resources:
Wordle – a tool that creates word art (called “clouds”) based on the words you provide
Read, Write, Think – a site by the National Council of Teachers of English. A wealth of activities for collaborative, interactive writing
As always, please share what your family creates! I’d love to see your finished products here in the comments or on my Facebook page.
To see more of the 10-day series, click here!