Taking those first steps towards writing a story can be both a fun and challenging activity for your child. By planning and writing a story, children learn to put their thoughts into order and use written language to communicate their ideas in a variety of ways.
Finding ideas and inspiration for writing a story can be tricky for both children and adults alike. Helping your child structure their story from beginning to end is a great way to make the writing process a whole lot easier.
Step 1: Think of an idea
A good place to start is by reading a book together. Stop and ask your child to make predictions about how the story might end. Your child’s alternative ending may become great material for a new and original story. You can also write stories based on real-life experiences, such as your child’s first day of school, an adventure in the park, or losing their first tooth.
Step 2: Create a character and a setting
Ask your child to create a character and a setting. Will their main character be a child, an adult, or even an animal? Will the story be set in the local park, a different country, or even outer space? Let your child’s imagination run wild and avoid being critical or adding your own creative flair to their ideas.
Step 3: The Beginning
All good children’s stories have a beginning, middle and an end. Ask your child to expand on their original story idea and set the opening scene. What’s special or different about their main character? Maybe it’s a cat who enjoys taking baths, a superhero who can’t fly, or a princess who lives in a cave!
Step 4: The Conflict
A story with no conflict can be rather dull. Help your child understand the concept of conflict in a story by revisiting some of their best-loved books. Explain to them when a conflict arises and encourage them to create one for their own story. They can even introduce a new character to shake things up!
Step 5: The Turning Point
The turning point is usually in the middle of the story, and helps to make a story more interesting. It can be a eureka moment, a time where a character discovers a hidden superpower, or a surprise that throws the whole story into a spin. Ask your child to think of something that the reader would least expect. It doesn’t always have to make sense – this is your child’s time to unleash their imagination!
Step 6: The Resolution
A good story doesn’t finish without a final resolution. Ask your child how the conflict in their story pans out. Challenge them to link the conflict with the turning point to create a meaningful resolution.
Step 7: The End
A satisfying ending is the perfect way to finish a story. What happened to the characters once their conflict became resolved? Were they able to finally achieve something, or did they learn an important lesson as a result?
Do you have any tips for helping your child write a story? Read more helpful writing tips here.
Reading Eggs is the comprehensive online reading website that teaches children aged 3-13 essential early reading skills. Reading Eggs includes the Story Factory which gives children a step-by-step guide to writing a story. Start your free two week trial today.