When learning is fun, children will naturally learn more. But even better, they will remember and retain more of what they learn. Here you’ll see how to thread fun through Language Arts. More subjects, topics, and activities will be added in the next few days.
Language Arts Activities
Language arts encompasses English, reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary,
grammar, composition, literature, drama, and poetry, listening and speaking,
and related written or oral activities. Ideas and activities follow.
Reading need not be dull! Famous or popular movies are made from
books and stories! If your children are not especially interested in reading,
try reading movie scripts together, such as Disney movie scripts or family
movie scripts featured on www.SimplyScripts.com. Use the scripts to act out
the movie, and compare scripts to the book version of the story. Try writing your own scripts, too!
Turn your library visits into story scavenger hunts! Have children find books that will take them to another land, another planet, or an imaginary world. See if they can locate books by particular authors or stories that focus on a particular time period.
Make it fun! If your children are having no luck finding such books, see if you can help. Pull out a few selections from the shelves and point out the colorful pictures or delightful illustrations. Then wonder aloud what might be occurring in the story. Begin reading a few of the pages aloud, and soon their interest will be piqued.
Book suggestions and Reading Lists are available at www.KidsReadingCircle.com and https://www.rd.com/list/the-best-childrens-books-ever-written. The
RD (Reader’s Digest) site lists “100 Best Children’s Books of All Time.”
Breathe life into the stories you read together. In addition to discussing
the characters and events in the stories, create your own plays or dramatic
performances based upon the stories. Or simply take turns reading the lines
of the different characters in the voices that seem to reflect their personalities.
This often results in fits of giggles and reading fun!
Read to them, share written stories with them, read newspapers aloud,
and read information aloud, even if it’s the cereal boxes at breakfast or a sign in the dentist’s waiting room. The key to encouraging children to read
is to read, read, read!
Parts of Speech:
Use illustrated books or even comic books to help children become
more familiar with nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions,
conjunctions, and interjections. After reading the stories, pick out the
different parts of speech together. When done on a regular basis with stories
children enjoy, you’ll be surprised how quickly they’ll learn the different
parts of speech and how long they’ll retain this knowledge.
Here’s a fun activity many children enjoy. They can assign colors to the
different parts of speech. Then, with colored construction paper at their fingertips,
they can jot down the nouns they find in a story on red construction
paper, for instance. They cut up those nouns on red paper and drop
them into a jar or box. Then they jot down the verbs from the story on blue
construction paper, cut up the verbs, and drop them into the jar or box.
They can continue with yellow adjectives, green adverbs, etc., cutting up the
words and dropping them into the container.
Later, they can shake up the container and select a red noun, blue verb,
yellow adjective, green adverb, and create their own fun or silly sentences.
Over time, as they continue to add colorful words to the container, they’ll
have quite a collection of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, all color coded
and clicking in their mind. And they’ll become much better at spotting the
different parts of speech in sentences as they read.
Brainstorm new story prompts or creative writing ideas together each
day. For instance: What if time ran backward? What if you could read everyone
else’s thoughts? What if you had webbed feet and a beak? Describe
what your day would be like, or write a story based on your "What if" ideas.
Keep a daily writing journal full of your creative thoughts and stories.
As a family, think about a story you’d like to write. Decide on the characters,
setting, plot, and storyline. Then have each family member write his or
her own version of the story. Read your stories aloud and see how similar or
different the stories are.
In today’s digital world of texting, instant messaging, and e-mail, letter-
writing is still an important skill. Children can hone those skills by writing
letters on a regular basis to friends and families. Remind them to write
thank-you notes for gifts or favors, as well. They can also write letters and
thank-you notes to famous folks. What might they write to Dr. Seuss? What
would they thank him for? What would they write to Pocahontas, or to Lewis
and Clark, or to Mark Twain? They can write letters to other favorite authors,
actors or actresses, or local heroes.
Spelling and Vocabulary Fun:
Use Scrabble game tiles, magnetic letters, or other types of letter tiles for
spelling practice. See who can spell the words the quickest. See who can
create the silliest word. Spell out words on each other’s backs with your fingers,
and see who is the most ticklish as kids practice their spelling skills!
Spelling lists are available for Kindergarten through Grade 9 at www.HomeSpellingWords.com.
For online spelling and vocabulary, browse spelling and word games at www.FunBrain.com/Games/Spellaroo.
More subject areas, topics, and activities are coming in the next few days, so check back soon!
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