FTC Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link.*
When I first made the decision to homeschool, I was touched by the outpouring of support from friends and family. A dear friend of mine, who also happens to be a phenomenal teacher (I know this because I met her when we were both in the trenches!), gave us a very special book as a “welcome to homeschool” gift. The book is called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. Is there any better gift than a book, folks? I think not!
My friend gave this book to us because it serves as amazing creative writing motivation. In The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Van Allsburg does not disappoint. His illustrations are fascinating, as always. Let me share a couple of our favorites to give you an idea of the book’s awesomeness.
Don’t you guys want to grab a pen and some paper after seeing those just now? The illustrations and captions are perfect writing prompts, folks. So, this morning, when Leo rediscovered this favorite of ours and asked if he could spend the morning writing a story based on a particular illustration, of course I said yes!
While he was plugging away on his story, I took to the internet and discovered that there is an entire website devoted to The Mysteries of Harris Burdick with oodles of tips for using this book as a creative writing tool. I also learned that many adults, including the one and only Stephen King, have written stories based on this book! I started a Mysteries of Harris Burdick pinterest board with other ideas that I found earlier this morning while scouring the internet with my cup o’ coffee. I hope this recommendation and associated links are helpful to someone out there!
Tell me, how do you teach creative writing? I love this post from STEAM Powered Classroom about using creative writing to study English. Do you guys separate language arts and creative writing, or lump them together? What are your favorite creative writing prompts? Do you have a book that you adore? Do you do something else? Please share your ideas and tips with this rookie homeschooler!
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
Follow My Little Poppies’s board Reading, Writing, and Language Arts on Pinterest.
*FTC Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. Basically, if you click on this link and make a purchase, I will receive small commission (we’re talking cents, not dollars). I would never endorse a product for a few cents. We recommend what we love here, folks.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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