Friday, 4 October 2013

Written Narration Prompts for Reluctant Writers

These are some of the ideas I've used to get my reluctant writers writing. I've gathered ideas over a number of years and I can't remember which were from my head or someone else's so I apologise in advance if the idea was not mine.
Sometimes I let my children choose from the list and sometimes I give them something specific. I've found they each have their preferences eg. my 13 year old likes to write poetic narrations and would only do those if I let him but sometimes I'll ask them to choose a different way to narrate what they know.
I'll add to this list as I come across anything I haven't listed as I have a few lists tucked away on our computer that I can't locate at present. 
I'll start with the choices I think are easier for a reluctant writer to begin with. Sometimes the physical act of writing is difficult and discourages writing. I even found this with one of my teenage boys and found that doing a creative form of a narration was helpful. It was still a legitimate way for him to show what he'd learned.

  • Draw a diagram with illustrations about what you've read - works well for science, geography and history.

  •  Draw a map of the area you've been reading about.

  • Draw a picture from a scene in our current Shakespeare play.

  • Write an advertisement eg. to sell a famous building or ship you've been learning about or to get people to enlist for the war. 

  • Write a newspaper article eg.a front page on the war they've been studying about in history. I give them some poetic licence with this as long as they include what they've actually been reading about.

  • Write an obituary about the person studied eg. Winston Churchill or Captain Cook.

  • Write a resume for eg. Napoleon, Hitler or Pericles. 

  • Draw or paint the painting you've been looking at for Picture Study. 

  • Write a quiz for dad (you have to know the answers to the questions you ask!) The boys enjoy doing this.

  • Write five questions you would like to ask eg. Albert Einstein or Henry VIII. 

  • Write a diary entry eg. a day in the life of Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven or William Wilberforce. 

  •  Write a poetic narration using the rhythm of eg. The Destruction of Sennacherib. (Using an online rhyming dictionary is helpful for this)

  • Write a description of a bird you've observed and draw it from memory.

  • Write a letter eg. You are a sailor on board the Spanish Armada. Write a letter to your mother describing the condtions on board or write a letter from one character to another; you've just met eg. Oliver Cromwell. Write a letter to a friend describing what he is like.

  • Write a song about a scene or event from eg. The Hobbit or The Battle of Hastings. You may use a tune from a well known folksong if you like.

  • Write a play based on eg. a section of Plutarch, Shakespeare or an historical event.

  • Write a conversation between eg. Captain Cook and a member of his crew. 

  •  Re-write a poem as prose - an epic or narrative poem eg. The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes or Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott. 

  •  Re-write or paraphrase an historical essay or other piece of writing. The Essays by Francis Bacon (1561-1626) work well for high school aged students. Or see here for some other ideas.



Jackie P said...

Hi Carol!

Jackie here from Let's Homeshool High School's October Blog Hop. I wanted to stop by read your post and say hello.

I LOVE your list. What fun ideas. I keep a very similar list and am going to add several of yours to mine. :)

One thing I did to get my reluctant daughter to write was to introduce blogging to her. She loves anime so she began her own fan fiction blog. She would write and we would co-edit together. Ownership worked wonders for her. She knew her friends would read it so she wanted it to be good. Her writing also improved dramatically. She did that for about two years and has since moved on to other things.

Thanks again for linking up with us and I look forward to reading your November Blog Hop post.

Let's Homeschool High School Team Member

Amy Marigold said...

Hi Carol,

I have used many of these ideas as well as different times - sometimes just to add variety, and sometimes as part of a plan to encourage my reluctant writer. :)

Anonymous said...

There are some great ideas here for the reluctant writer. :)