Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jumpstart Journal Prompts: Schedules

    Sometimes even a jump start isn't enough. I got the idea for schedules from Peggy Kaye's Games for Writing. You can try using a schedule as a framework for the “one morning I woke up” prompts—this way kids can “schedule” plot points, which is sometimes easier than writing a continuous narrative. The schedule should count as the journal entry, even if your child doesn't use complete sentences. Here's an example from the “day of whatever I want to do” prompt:
  • One night, Dad told me that I would be allowed to spend the next day doing exactly what I wanted to. The next morning, I woke up at x:00 a.m. I was so excited! Here's what I did:
8:00                                                            9:00

  • I tried this with Tai, and it worked well. I did my own at the same time, which also worked well. Makes for a nice jumping off point for a discussion of favorite activities. 
  • Or--and I haven't tried this--have your writer make a schedule of what you think you would do with your day. And you can do one for her. Good exercise in empathy.

The schedule format can be massaged to fit the writer's needs and abilities—half-hour increments, less time, more can spend more than one hour doing things, too—they don't need to do 12 different things. But I think it makes sense to shoot for at least 8.

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