As I continue my search for resources to encourage reluctant writer I came up with a simple but effective idea that can be used by teachers and parents alike.
Many times over the years have played the game of consequence with children as a time filling or reward activity. This game involves first drawing a head onto the top of a piece of paper and then folding it over so the head is hidden from the next person. The second person must then draw a body. The game continues with the paper being passed on until all the body parts are drawn. The paper is then unfolded to reveal a silly looking character.
I wanted to use this idea to encourage my daughter who is herself a reluctant writer to practise some story writing. I followed the idea of the original game by writing an opening sentence to a story at the top of a piece of paper. I then read this to my daughter before turning the paper over so that she could write a sentence that would follow on. We then continued to take it in turns to write sentences for the story until we reached the end. We used different coloured pens to make the task more interesting and challenged each other to use different types of punctuation, connectives or wow words. My daughter enjoyed the game and found it much more engaging than if I has just asked her to write the next part of a story.
The game could be played with two or more players and the story theme, length and challenges could be differentiated depending on the age and ability of the children. It certainly takes away the fear some children feel when faced with a blank piece of paper and turns a mundane writing task into a fun game.