Young Writers: Enriching Sentences

As one mother said, “I know my son is creative, but I can’t get him to write creatively.”

What is missing? Sometimes it’s lack of confidence. Creative writing doesn’t have a step by step procedure. Often the  lack of creativity is not understanding the process of enrichment.

Creativity is the ability to let one’s imagination fly – to leap frog from one idea into the next, and then pop! with a new idea.

The following Enrichment Process for sentence writing teaches the young writer to think while they are writing.

To begin, identify short sentences that have potential: The squirrel jumped. The dog barked. A tree is green. The storm is wild. The bee buzzed. The car stopped.

On the board, write a short sentence.  Next, ask questions based on grammar. [Samples below.]  Use the child’s answers and rewrite the sentence with the new information.  Continue asking questions and rewriting the sentence until a long unique sentence is completed.

For instance: (3 words)

The frog leaped. What does the frog look like?

The small, green frog leaped. What did the frog leap over?

The small green frog leaped over an old log. How did he leap?

The small green frog leaped high into the air over an old log. Why did he do that?

The small green frog leaped high into the air over an old log when the owl swooped down. Where did this happen?

Down by the pond, the small green frog leaped high into the air over an old log when the owl swooped down. (22 words)

Of course, an astute child will notice that leaping high into the air probably meant the frog became owl’s dinner!  🙂 

If the follow-up assignment is to copy the sentence, encourage the young writers to change the ideas. Maybe their frogs will jump into the log instead of high over it!

As children become familiar with this enrichment process, take a step towards independent work. Have each child sit with a partner of the same ability level. Write a short sentence on the board. Discuss [or list] related questions, and step back! Creativity brings lots of laughter the gateway to unique ideas.

Share. Compliment. Laugh a lot.Draw pictures.

Enrichment is being learned. Creativity has taken a step forward.

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