Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper can shrivel imagination and quell any desire to write. Just ask me, I'm a writer! Here are some ideas that might help your kids unleash their inner author.
There's writing involved at Creature Creator (phew, just as well seeing this blog is supposed to be about literacy) because you need to create a bio for your creature. I invented the creature at left and called him Flidge, then I described him by using their template. It's a fairly simple matter of answering prompts, so it's just right for a quick activity. At the same time, it gives kids a little practice in developing characters, a skill every writer needs. I found the website via Digital Tools for Teachers.
(Aside: I must say this activity works well as a piece of marketing. After creating my bio, I now am intrigued by the books it's based on - The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins.)
At Stories from the Web, kids can read extracts from well-known authors' books, then follow up with writing activities.
Here's a cartoon writing activity from Learning Media (NZ).
Have you tried the Dr Seuss Story Maker? It uses the characters from Horton Hears a Who! Kids choose backgrounds and characters for each scene, some music, then write the words they want their characters to say. Once done, they pull the handle to see their story unfold. Kids might like to take that tiny story and develop it further in their own words.
At Comeeko/Pikistrips, you can just add captions and speech bubbles to pictures that you upload. You need to register first. Parental guidance a must.
Characters is simply a quick notepad for outlining character details, and a cute editor to choose physical features for your character. Just click on the face, head, clothes etc at right to scroll through available features. Use the list at left to describe him or her. Kids might then go on to develop a story based on that character.
At Creativity Portal, you will find heaps of writing prompts. The site is aimed at adults but kids could certainly benefit from the Imagination Prompt Generator. Don't like your prompt? Press "next prompt" and try again.
At The Story Starter Jr, click to generate a random sentence you can use as a story starter eg "The bully was crying in the backyard" or "The grandma was searching for a treasure map in the haunted house".
Even kids who love to write can be stumped for how to begin. Let your kids use these activities as starters, then encourage them to use their imaginations to develop a story further. Don't forget those two magic words every writer loves: what if? What if Flidge ate so much, he couldn't fly any more? What if the ants are told Flidge is raiding their nests? What if a monstrous creature comes to Flidge's village? What might happen then?