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Learning from Home – 11 June 2020

This week is a short week for most of us, with the public holiday on Monday, and sees the end of Term 2 rapidly approaching – less than a month away!

Consider this your friendly reminder about the Kids News Short Story Writing Competition. The competition is open for students in Years 3-9 and closes on Friday, 3 July 2020. While there are some suggestions on the website of topics your students might like to write about, they are welcome to write about anything they (or you!) choose. Given how difficult it is for some of us to really let go and be creative, I thought I’d share with you some resources that you and your students might find helpful

Erin Entrada Kelly is a Newberry-Medal winning author who specialises in middle-grade fiction. She has put together this fantastic video about the bravery required to be creative, and, more generally, to take risks in many aspects of our lives (some important life lessons here for adults as well as children!). One of the most important things she discusses is negative self-talk, and the way it can stop us doing things we enjoy or taking creative risks because our work might not be ‘perfect’. It’s eye opening to see that even someone as successful as Kelly still doubts herself. At the end of the video she also offers some tips on how to get started on writing a story.

Kids love to read funny stories, so if they’re stuck for ideas on writing stories, maybe they could try writing what they love to read? I have shared quite a few of Matt Stanton’s videos because they’re so easy to follow either in a classroom or at home, as well as being genuinely helpful. His video on writing funny stories, where he shares what he calls his ‘Put a but in it’ trick is only six minutes long, and should provide children with a great starting point for writing funny stories.

The ABC Education website has had a huge injection of content over the past couple of months, which is great, but it can be difficult to find what you need. One great resource for short story writing is the ‘How to Build Stories’ module, which has been put together by Sydney Story Factory. This module covers everything from where stories come from to plot and characters, through to using language effectively. If you are teaching a short story unit, each video could form the beginning of a lesson where you expand on the ideas presented, or it’s equally suitable for students to access independently. Suitable for students in Years 3-8.

Have a great week.

Regards,

Jemma

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