Tips & Activities To Grow as a Writer

Writing is a part of our lives in so many ways: from everyday tasks like to-do lists, emails, and thank-you letters to friends and family, to personal moments of reflection like journaling or poetry. Outside the classroom, children become stronger writers with encouragement and modeling from parents and caregivers. For young learners, giving them access to writing and drawing tools and making them a part of your day-to-day writing routines creates a way for them to explore at their own pace. For older children, giving thoughtful prompts based on their interests will help get their creative muscles flexing – and the words flowing!

As writing moves from understanding letters and sounds, to the structures that underpin how language works and when to use different types of writing styles, it’s important to recognize just how wonderful it is to explore the world around us through books, stories, plays, essays, editorials and more. Becoming a stronger writer is a life-long challenge – but a worthwhile one! Use the videos, activities, and writing prompts below to add another tool to your writer’s toolbox, and check out some local organizations who are here to support you and your child’s literary journey.

Then, next week, learn how to grow as a writer with Clifford and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum on PBS Kids 24/7. And keep the learning going with our Learn Along Bingo.

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Explore Writing & Reading

How to Create a Literate Home: Young Child and Kindergarten

Grades PreK-K
While learning to play with the building blocks of language as a young child or kindergartener, your child can learn a lot from adults, as well as reading and writing materials.

Learning at Home: 9 Early Literacy Activities

Grades PreK-3
These activities will fill your home with letters, sounds and word fun
and support your child’s reading and writing adventures!

Picture Books About Writers and Writing

Grades PreK-4
Celebrate the art of writing in all its various forms with these ten books that will tickle your children’s funny bones and teach them some history too.

Adirondack Center for Writing

Grades 6-12
The Adirondack Center for Writing brings people and words together. The ACW cultivates the art of writing and the joy of reading; celebrate the power of language to invite discovery, to create an understanding of people and sense of place, and to build a community. To be part of the ACW community, check out what’s new and newsworthy, scour the Literary Map of the Adirondacks for books linked to the region, or join a writer’s group to hone your literary chops!

Clinton Essex Franklin Library System

All Ages
Instill a passion for reading, and writing, in your children with help from the Clinton, Essex, Franklin Library System. The CEF Library System is made up of 33 libraries and reading centers in the tri-county region, all open to the public with a variety of digital and in-person programs and offerings, dependent on location and availability. Consult this map of library locations to help you find your local branch, their contact information, hours of operation, and more. The CEF Library System has a variety of research and learning tools to help support your literary journey, and you can search each library’s catalog for books, videos, audios, kits, objects and more!

You can contribute your own story to the CEF Library System through their Leaving our Fingerprints: A People’s History of COVID-19 project. Help paint a portrait of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Everyone has a story to tell and these accounts provide valuable insight into this moment in history.

Activities, Crafts & More

Magnetic Letters

Grades PreK-1
Create your own magnetic letters
to use as a Super Why! party activity, or for some at-home DIY fun.

Write and Play Found Poetry

Grades PreK-3
Found poetry, often described as the literary equivalent of a collage, is when you take existing words, phrases or passages and re-frame them to create poetry. Help your child play with words and express herself to create found poetry.

Where Would You Go?

Grades 1-3
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why? Write and draw about it with this printable from Lets Go Luna!

Writing a Fantasy – Creatures in the Sea

Grades 1-4
Watch a video featuring various sea creatures, assign special characteristics to the sea creatures you see, and use make-believe or fantasy ideas to write an underwater sea fantasy.

Super Flip | Take the Stage

Grades 3-5
Learn how to write an expository essay
with opinion, reason and evidence while creating your very own comic strip! With superhero Captain Opinion and her sidekicks, Reason and Evidence, the viewer goes on a fun adventure into the world of opinions and the importance of supporting them with lots of reasons and evidence.

Commentary Writing: Finding A Unique Perspective

Grades 5-12
In these three Youth Radio commentaries, young writers take a look at troubling aspects of their lives that they confront on a daily basis. By the end, they find a new perspective that gives them strength to move forward. Listen to the youth voices, and try your hand at writing your own! Or discuss the larger issues at hand as a class.

Sensorial Writing | Creative Lesson Plans for Personal Storytelling

Grades 6-12
In this lesson, students will explore vivid sensorial writing while considering how to write about smell, taste, or sound in a setting. This lesson is an opportunity to talk about the importance of the concept of “show, don’t tell” in writing.

A Handy Way to Organize an Essay

Grades 6-12
In this video, students will learn about the “guiding hand” technique
, and how it offers a way to help students stay on topic when writing an essay. Organization and structure make writing clear and easy to understand.

Writing a Play | Drama Arts Toolkit

Grades 6-12
In this video from KET, high school students Aiden Phillips and Hannah Schmidt describe what they learned about playwriting through their involvement in the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Teaching artist Keith McGill explains how he coaches young writers in the playwriting process. Use the Support Materials, like the This is a Play About… and Play Structure Worksheets, to bring playwriting lessons into your own classroom or home.

Tell Your Story: PBS American Portrait

PBS American Portrait is a multiplatform storytelling project focused on creating an authentic image of life in America. This project explores the everyday lives of real Americans: the diverse ways we work, play, and connect with those around us, helping us see the ways we are different, and the ways we are alike.

Help ensure that the voices of the North Country are represented. By sharing your stories, the unique experience of life in and around the Adirondacks will be part of the great mosaic of the American Portrait! Visit the project website, and after completing a short registration process, contribute your own story using text, photo, or video to respond to any of the 25 available prompts. Any one aged 13 and over can create a submission, and users younger than 13 are free to explore and read the stories already up on the site.

Explore More on PBS LearningMedia

Student-facing discussions, storytelling curricula, and professional learning materials for teachers are available on PBS LearningMedia in the American Portrait Collection. These resources are appropriate for grades 6-12.

Check out resources from the collection like the PBS American Portrait: Family of Us media gallery, which showcases individuals who are proud to share their families’ stories. The 26-minute full program—broken into four segmented story modules—defines family as a mutual and chosen commitment to love, as much as or more so than a biological relationship. Use viewing activities and discussion questions to help your students draw connections to these stories by creating and sharing stories of their own!

Learn Along Bingo

With Learn Along Bingo, children can view, explore, and play as they learn alongside their PBS Kids friends on the PBS Kids 24/7 channel. We hope your family will use it to inspire learning each and every day.

Next week, we’re growing as writers. Children write to express ideas using letter-like shapes, symbols, letters and words. We learn that writing is meaningful!

Grades PreK-K

Tune in: Watch Clifford at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, March 9th.

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

Grades 1-2

Tune in: Watch Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum at 7 PM on Tuesday, March 9th.

Play & Learn: In this packet, there are printable activities and everyday learning ideas for you and your child to choose from. As you complete each square, mark it off to celebrate the learning!

For even more games and educational resources for young learners, go to the Growing as a Writer Collection on PBS Kids for Parents.