Jumpstarting the Writing & Illustrating Process
Your child can begin the writing and illustrating process in several ways. You may want to try several of these approaches to see which one builds most naturally on your child's strengths.
Start with a title.
One way to get started is to come up with the title of the story first. The title serves as the main idea your child wishes to write about. This approach will help your child keep focused.
Your child could start by TALKING ...
Ask your child to tell you his/her story aloud. Then have him/her write it down (or you can take dictation). Try a tape recorder! Children love to hear their voices, plus they have a chance to hear parts they want to change. Then have children come up with drawings to match the story (at least five pictures).
Or start by DRAWING...
Have your child start by drawing a series of pictures that tells a story. Then ask your child to describe what is happening in each picture. If possible, have your child write the words telling the story under each picture (or you may take dictation).
Or start by PLAYING.
Allow your child to play with his/her favorite toys, either alone or with friends. (You may want to encourage your child to imagine that his/her toys have a big problem or challenge that they must overcome.) After playing, ask your child to tell you the things the toys experienced. Then have him/her draw and write (or dictate) the story.
Follow up with questions.
After your child has developed the core ideas of a story, ask a few questions: What is the beginning of your story? What is the middle of your story? What is the end of your story? Who are your characters? Where do they live? When does the story happen? What is the problem to be worked out in your story? How do the characters solve the problem?
If anything is missing, your child can then decide what to add. Also, look for areas where your child could add descriptive words. Ask them to describe in more detail how people or things look, smell, sound, taste or feel.