A few weeks ago I heard about a new book – Get Children Writing by Sue Walsh and I was immediately interested because this is actually one area in which I have struggled to find good books for my kids. What I mean is you will find lots of English grammar or English comprehension books for kiddos but a book with good, interesting writing activities, a book which is written with the aim of getting kids to express themselves and to enjoy writing is incredibly hard to find. So with all of that in mind and the fact that this is an area that I wanted to try and work on with my son I asked if we could review this book.
The first thing that struck me after paging through it – it is a book with ideas and you the home educator or parent can really take these ideas and adapt them to your kids (or you can just stick with the ideas as they are because they are great as is). But what I immediately liked was the fact that I could see that as a home educator you can use this with different aged kids, in fact after looking at a few of the ideas I was already thinking of ways I could slightly alter them for my oldest (extend it a bit and make it a bit more challenging for her).
The book is broken down into three categories – Introduction activities (think inspiration), Poetry and then Extract from Children’s Classics and has 22 different writing activities in it.
Now after using this book for a bit with my son I would strongly suggest that you actually work through some (if not all, because they are great) of the activities under the Introduction section. These really are excellent “starter” activities. I was really very impressed with what they included under this section and I must admit my son did not complain about these activities (which is actually really impressive as he often chirps when I try and set him writing activities).
Then the Poetry section (as I have mentioned countless times before Poetry is not one of our strong areas in this house) but this poetry section was brilliant, I loved it and I thought it was really well explained and I liked the way it encouraged the kids to try and write their own poems.
Lastly Extracts from Children’s Classics. Now please don’t think comprehension, this is NOT that. These extracts have been chosen as examples of good writing and the kids are encouraged to think about why they are good pieces of writing and then try and use that in their own writing. Again an excellent section.
Content wise, I really think these are brilliant activities. Really impressed.
Now layout. There are no model answers in this book, but then it would be very hard to include model answers when it comes to writing. However with most of the activities they either include examples or teacher’s notes. Which in a way form as a sort of model answer. If you read the examples or if you read the teacher’s notes then you can judge if you are on the right track with you answer.
I have been really impressed with this book – Get Children Writing and I think it is a brilliant resource with enjoyable and inspirational ideas.
Admin – As I mentioned above I asked for a review copy of this book because I was really interested to see if it was worthwhile.
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