Posted by Brian McCabe, Brian@avko.org
Younger students love to tell stories, even if it's just sharing what they did that day, what they learned at school, or a silly story they've made up. Take advantage of the children's natural curiosity and creativity -- and boost their language skills -- by writing the stories out.
For younger students, you can have them dictate the stories while you transcribe them. If you have a motor mouth on your hands, you may wish to use a tape recorder or your computer to allow their creative juices to keep flowing naturally (instead of halted waiting for you to finish writing/typing the last sentence). You may need to ask a few questions along the way to get them to elaborate on their descriptions, what happened next, how the characters relate to each other, etc.
Once you have it all written/typed out, put it in a binder. Have your child draw the illustrations and/or the cover. Collect the stories in the same binder or keep them stored together if they are in multiple bindings. A week or so later (and at later intervals, too), you can have the children read the stories back to you or read them silently.
This is a great way for the children to see their own vocabulary words in print, and in the context of full sentences that are syntactically and grammatically correct, reinforcing their language building skills.
They may decide that they want to revise the stories later on -- adding more detail, adding new characters, or creating sequels to the stories. Encourage this!