Chapter 6: Written Arts
Writing is a time-honored practice on the spiritual path, helping people to name their experiences and to use specific senses to express their feelings about the world. Children must be readers in order to be writers, so these activities are best for ages 7 and above, unless the adults wish to write what the children say. One activity is to simply write down thoughts inspired by an image; a visual stimulus lends itself to description and feeling, so children do not have to create their writing from nothing.
Children's work may come out naturally in poetry or prose forms, depending on their experience. Any kind of writing should be acceptable responses for writing exercises.
When the children begin sharing, make sure you specify how they are to respond to their partner's work. They may only say what they like about it, in positive terms. It is good in the beginning to assign partners at random. Later in the morning, you can have the children choose partners, but make sure that they choose someone they haven't worked with already so that the pairs are mixed.