Driffield Junior School

  1. Learning
  2. English
  3. Writing at home

Writing at home

Some children naturally love to write. However, some children find writing really tricky and struggle to do so. As always, any help at home for reluctant and eager writers is always welcome and beneficial. Below are some ideas to help encourage children to write. When completing written work, including homework or extra activities, remind children of their basic skills or check these together (capital letters, full stops and making sure sentences make sense). It would also be a good idea to talk about the features that would be included in a style of writing (this can be completed discreetly if needed). For example, in instructions we would expect to see adverbs (such as firstly and next) and imperative verbs (such as cut and fold)

Diary/journal writing:

Some children have their own diary where they can write about their day and share their thoughts. This is a great way to encourage children to write as it does not feel pressured. However, most children like to keep their diaries secret so, after a period of time, you could ask your child to write an entry that they share with parents, grandparents or the family. If they are writing about something of their choosing, they are more likely to enjoy it!

Some children may prefer to write their diaries on a laptop or tablet or even in the style of a blog including pictures

Silly stories:

This one is great to play as a group or family. You may want to start by deciding what and how many characters your story is going to include (talk about this together). The first person writes the first sentence and folds the paper so it cannot be seen - encourage your child to check they have used capital letters and a full stop. The next person then repeats and writes the next sentence and then folds the paper so their sentence cannot be seen. Repeat this until a final sentence has been written. Enjoy reading your silly story together!

Write a postcard, letter or email to a friend or relative:

This is an especially good task if you have done something enjoyable or during school holidays.

Children can write a paragraph or two about a day or week to share with people they care about. If they have written a postcard, they may want to draw their own pictures/illustrations on the front of their card. You can easily print off a postcard template online.

Alternatively, children could write about their memories on a laptop or tablet as an email or hand write it in the style of a letter. Children could even write to their idols or other authors - they may get a reply back!

Comic Strips:

If your child is particularly creative or enjoys drawing, this is a really good way to encourage them to write too. Comics do not usually feature much writing but the text included is really key; this may be through thought bubbles, speech or descriptive sentences that forward the story.

Children can also experiment with how they choose to set their comic out. Lots of the conventional rules we use in regular writing are not used in comic strips.

Some ideas for comic strips may be their favourite fairy tale, a recount of their day, their favourite day out or a completely fictional story!

Short stories:

Short stories are great for encouraging children to be creative and use their imagination whilst developing and improving their writing skills. Some children may be able to write from their imagination (and could even illustrate their short story) whereas other children may need a stimulus. There are lots of images online that can be used as 'story starters' - it would be really good idea to talk about the picture beforehand to share thoughts and ideas.

Children could also re-write the ending of a story they know or have read to create an alternate ending.

Writing for a purpose:

Some children prefer non-fiction writing - this is absolutely fine and will still help them practice important skills.

Younger children could begin by helping writing everyday lists, such as shopping lists, chores that need completing or itineraries for days out.

Another idea is to ask children to write out instructions for recipes or something they enjoy/are very good at doing: kick ups, a certain dance move, how to draw something or even how to tidy their room!

Invention writing:

For practical children, they could invent/create a new object, game or machine and write a paragraph describing what it is and how it is used.

With adult permission, they could even make a model or prototype as well as completing designs and illustrations!