Keep Using Language Arts and Writing Skills During the Summer!
Just because it is summer time doesn't mean we just forget all about our reading, writing, and language arts skills.
It is amazing how much kids forget over the summer if they are not constantly using these skills. There are so many fun ways to keep writing, reading, and using language arts during the summer.
A few ways we have been using them lately is writing to pen pals. Julia has been writing a letter a week (at least) to 3 different pen pals! She loves using stationary, adding stickers, and putting the stamp on too. We chose some local friends and a sweet friend who lives out of state. Mark has been writing his local buddy Charlie. The kids are learning how to not only address envelopes, and write a formal letter, but they are building friendships too! I try very hard not to correct these pen pal letters because I know it is meant to be fun. It's actually adorable to see their phonetic spelling.
This week we decided to write a few of the authors we've been reading books from the library. When I was a teacher we would read a novel a month in our classroom after lunch time. After we finished a novel (if the author was still living) we would write the author and tell them what we loved about the book and include a picture of our favorite scene or character...the best part was waiting to see if the author would write back! And believe it or not most of them did. I still remember getting a post card from Ms. DiCamillo the author of Because of Winn Dixie and the box full of book marks from Andrew Clements after we read Frindle.
Writing to authors also helps with perfecting grammar, using punctuation, and reading comprehension when they have to remember their favorite part of the book or explain why they liked a certain character.
Here is what we do:
* Choose a book we really enjoyed that week.
* This week we read The Broken Promise by Ravi Zacharias.
* Go online to see if the author is still writing books (still living).
* Look for a publishing address usually on the first 1-3 pages of the book.
* Get some stationary, a stamp, a pencil and an eraser!
* Tell the author what you loved about the book! What was your favorite part? What did you learn from the story? Who was your favorite character?
* Include a picture of your favorite scene, favorite character, or of yourself!
* Ask the author to please write you back!
* Don't forget to include your name and the grade you are in!
* Address your envelope and be sure to include a return address so they can write you back (usually they send kids book marks or posters).
* Wait patiently!