Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirituality and the Arts in Children's Programming: A Resource for Religious Educators

Writing from words

Gather many small or large color cards from your local paint or hardware store. Generate a list of words that are appropriate for children and tape one on each color card. See the Gargantuan Word Jar Inventory in the bibliography for possible words or explore word lists according to grade level available through teaching web sites.

Have each child take a handful of cards and use them either for a specific exercise like writing a poem of praise or a prayer or for open writing. They may use the word taped on the card and the color name in their work and any other words that they need to have their work make sense. Children can trade in words for new ones, but it is better if the choice is random and they use what they have.

Poetic forms: Good form for children are haiku, cinquain, and free verse poems. Give them some examples to help them understand the structure. See the bibliography for books with specific exercises in poetic forms.

Prose forms:

  • Begin with reading the children an appropriate piece mirroring the style you want the children to use.
  • Children may be invited to write a story using a particular character, place, or object.
  • Children could be invited to write about how they feel about a particular topic or idea.
  • Ask the children to pick a character from a story, and write about the way that character feels about what happened.
  • Ask children to respond to a concept like peace by writing about when they have felt peaceful or a situation they have seen or heard about that shows how to have peace with each other.