I lead a small writing class for some of my favorite homeschooled ballerinas. I spend about an hour per week with Word Nerd Teen (14), Cookie (11) and Mini (8). A good portion of that time is spent being thankful that I have such wonderful young ladies in my life, but we occasionally manage to work in a little bit of writing.
In order to make the most of our time, we have a warm-up exercise to get the creative juices (and ink) flowing. It is very simple, but it does the trick.
I put together a list of about 400 words. The list includes commonly misspelled words, homonyms and random words I think they should know. You could easily modify the difficulty of the words on the list to suit your own writer.
I printed the list, cut apart the squares, folded them and dropped them in a lidded container. That was the hard part.
Each girl has a composition book for our warm-up exercises. We go around the table and each girl draws out a word. We read it, write it at the top of the page and talk about the word. Once everyone is comfortable with the meaning of each word, we set the timer.
With three words on the page and two minutes on the timer, we write! The goal is to write and use all three words before the timer sounds. The words have to be used properly and not as a list. (In other words, no “My spelling words this week are….”.) We do not worry about creating a full story, just a snapshot.
Once the timer sounds, each person reads their piece aloud. I love to hear how they all take the same three words and head to such divergent places!
I do not re-use words (except for a couple that were accidentally duplicated on the list), so each week brings a new challenge.
It seems simple (it is), but I challenge you to try it the next time your brain is sluggish. It really does help get the synapses firing.
How do you wake up your brain?
We link to these fine parties.