Encouraging Your Kids to Write

By: Delana S

Whether your kids love to write or hate to write here is an activity that is easy to grade and can sound fun.  My kids never liked the sound of book reports, but once they saw a book review written by a young boy named Nigel Andreola who writes reviews from time to time for CBD, it encouraged them to try their hands at writing one themselves.

Every time your child finishes a book, s/he should be encouraged or required to do a book review.  For young kids this can be very simple.  Points are given for certain requirements, and based on those points a grade or reward can be given.  Here are some suggestions for required elements.

All age students should write:

  1. The title, printed neatly on the top line (5pts).
  2. The date, printed in the upper right hand corner (2.5pts).
  3. The author’s name, printed on the third line (5 pts.).
  4. The page numbers, also printed on the third line (2.5pts).
  5. Neat handwriting—either in cursive or print, teacher’s choice—with finger or pencil space between words (15 pts).  {Or typed, if you are trying to encourage typing lessons.}
  6. One sentence at the end of the book report stating the reader’s personal opinion of the book (10 pts.).
  7. Summary sentences of the story including major characters and events occurring in the story. (points vary by school grade)

6th grade                                  5th grade                                  4th grade

10 sentences= 60pts                9 sentences= 60pts                  8 sentences= 60pts

9 sentences= 55pts                8 sentences= 55pts                  7 sentences= 55pts

8 sentences= 45pts                7 sentences= 45pts                  6 sentences= 45pts

7 sentences= 35pts                6 sentences= 35pts                  5 sentences= 35pts

Follow this same descending pattern for 1st – 3rd graders.  If you want to challenge your 6th graders to use compound sentences with conjunctions or semicolons, then let them know that certain compound sentences would count as two sentences (if used correctly).

Happy Writing!