Writing! I love it so.
This activity is called Stones in the River. It's perfect for the beginning of the year because it's all about brainstorming ideas, even though the kids don't know that yet. It's a resource we come back to over and over again when we're stuck for writing ideas, or to add to as we think of more. If I ever hear "I don't have anything to write about.", my automatic response is "Go to your river.", and then "Have you gone to your river?", and then "Why don't you add some things to your river?"
During the first week of school I do this activity step-by-step with the kids. I show them rivers I've created in the past and let them know that if they are dying to put color on their river, they can when we finish making as many stones as possible.
1. Get a long piece of art paper
2. Draw your river with 2 lines (straight, curvy, jagged, whatever) as far apart on the paper as possible.
3. Think of any people that you know who are important to you. Every one of these people will be a stone in your river. For every person you can think of write their name and then draw a circle or oval around it. These are now the first stones in your river.
6. Write your name on your river! That way when we find it on the floor, we can bring it right back to you. We wouldn't want you to lose something so special. :)
Follow-up mini lessons with our rivers include:
How you can use your river to spark an idea for writing
Genre switch - using a river idea to write pieces in multiple genres (a poem AND a narrative about your cat)
Adding on to your river when you think of new ideas
Happy back to school! Enjoy the rest of August!
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