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Today’s notebook paper topic is: Writing with Word Cards. This is a little tidbit I’ve shared before within another blog post and I thought it would be worth mentioning again all on its own. I started using this with Rebecca, our 10th grader, was very young and it still works today with her and with her younger brothers.
Pros & Cons of Using the Writing Cards
You can use this technique with creative or more technical writing- with a curriculum focus or free writing/something you put together as a writing prompt. In this example, we used Story Starters by Karen Andreola as our inspiration for writing. Actually, Karen provides a lot of writing helps already within her text, but this using word cards is just one more tool in my writing toolbox for my kids.
- When they are younger I like it for picking out key items they need to include in their writing.
- As they get older I still like them to help my kids focus on word variety.
- The downside is that a set of word cards may sort of lead your kids down one path vs another depending on the words you provide. In this example, I added the word storm to the list though none occurs in the prompt- so it’s definitely a leading sort of word.
Working with Word Cards
How does it work? I provide the cards in a library pocket based on the prompt. The cards have words on them that must occur somewhere in the student’s story.
- You can have a student look at all the cards and begin writing or
- you can have them choose a card one by one (from inside the pocket) and add a sentence to their story using that word- this works pretty well for new writers.
- Of course all the self-editing and editing parts of the process remain the same, but the word cards give some more framework for the written response.
- It also adds a kinesthetic approach to writing if only in a small way.
Again, this is a quick and thorough way to enter the writing process for a student and provides another way to coach your student on his writing. You can even make the word cards from notebook paper, but in this case I used index cards.
Notebook paper is a flexible tool to use with word cards. I usually have my 5th grader skip lines and write on every other line- another way to modify the use of wide ruled paper with younger students. Skipping lines allows their writing to be spread out more and provides more room for editing.
I hope you enjoyed this quick writing idea using word cards and notebook paper. Join me tomorrow for another great way to use ordinary notebook paper in your homeschool!
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