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Must-have skill for children #6: writing vividly
Narrative writing is one of the easiest types of writing for young children to grasp. Before they graduate into expository or persuasive writing styles, they often learn how to tell a story. In order to tell a story effectively, children need to relay stories, feelings, and ideas in a way so that readers understand the message and can live in the experience. And in order to do that, children need to write vividly. It all comes down to this must-have skill.
However, children may have a hard time being specific and writing in detail when they are young. They are in the early stages of understanding grammar and communicating coherently. This is why it is important to get them to exercise their creativity and expressiveness early on.
There are many figures of speech and other tools to up-level their writing. Here are just a few, and we have included this in a downloadable file near the end, so you can share these tips with your child!
Your child can use...
Phrases that use prepositions to indicate where one object is in relation to another.
Ex. She placed the book on her bedside table.
Your child does not have to give stage directions, but adding a few extra details helps the reader envision what is happening. Little specifics can turn a passage into a scene.
Sometimes a sentence seems incomplete without this detail. The example above would seem cut short or unimportant if it had just been, “She placed the book.” By saying where she placed the book, your child provides both a visual and a suggestion that she plans to read in bed later.
These are figurative speeches that compare one thing to another. Similarly, a simile is a type of metaphor that uses “as” or “like.”
Ex. Hugs from moms are as comforting as naps in front of crackling fireplaces.
You cannot get more colorful in your writing than by including some beautiful metaphors. Similes may be the easier type for your child to understand and utilize, but no matter how they do it, their writing will definitely become more flowery and vivid to the reader.
This especially is helpful in moments when the reader may not understand a new concept or object introduced in the story. Plugging it into a more familiar scenario, like “the cloud looked as fluffy as a pillow,” could make it easier for a reader who never saw the cloud to imagine what it actually looks like.
These are abrupt remarks to express or exclaim a feeling or response.
Ex. Wow! Geez! Oh no! Hah! Yeah!
These can be inserted in as dialogue to add some excitement and realism to a conversation or event! If a character comes across something surprising and does not say anything of the sort, that seems unlikely or bland for the narrative.
Add in excitement through reactions, and what better way to show such reactions than to sprinkle in some occasional interjections?
These are words to express a sound that is made. They can be used as a noun or a verb, as well.
Ex. Rrrring! Plop! Ruff.
Spice things up! Make things more fun and exciting by using onomatopoeia! Instead of saying, “The telephone rang,” your child can introduce the telephone into the scene by jumping right into the “Ring! Ring!”
Part of vivid writing is to awaken the senses and what better way to awaken the hearing sense than to use onomatopoeia? It will grab the reader’s attention as if they heard the sound in real life.
Variety in Word Choice:
Antonyms: words that have opposite meanings
Synonyms: words that have similar meanings
Your child can switch up their language through the appropriate use of synonyms and antonyms. After a while, language can get boring and repetitive. To keep the writing dynamic, your child can look up ways to replace certain words that have been said too frequently. This will also help to improve their vocabulary!
They should take care to not constantly use big words for the sake of it and to truly understand nuances because even synonyms can be used in different ways. For example, “renowned” can mean being known by many people but is often used positively. On the other hand, “infamous,” a word that is used incorrectly quite often, means being well-known for a bad reason.
They can also insert adjectives or adverbs as well as change their sentence structures to switch things up.
With these new tools and tips, included in the convenient downloadable file, your child will have up-leveled their writing in no time! Download and print the file so your child can use this handy aid in school or for homework. They will surely feel more confident and impress their teachers.
Other things that always help with writing is to encourage your child to read as many books as possible and enroll them in our English and Reading & Writing programs! Check them out here, and happy writing!