How To Help Children Create Brilliant Stories

I’m feeling the Christmas spirit already – I’m busy planning a Christmas creative writing workshop for children. It’ll be my first in-person workshop in two years, so I’m very excited. I’m hoping the children will have tonnes of fun – I know I will.

But behind every fun activity is a real storytelling skill, which the children will learn without knowing it. They’ll create naughty elves, travel to faraway lands and discover who stole Rudolph’s red nose. Along the way, they’ll learn how to create characters, build real worlds and structure their stories. On top of that, they’ll learn valuable language skills.

Character Sketch

First of all, the children will create a naughty elf. This elf may or may not be the creature who stole Rudolph’s nose. They’ll create a character sketch of this elf, a profile of a character that helps you get to know them. Based on a picture I give them and some headings, they’ll come up with a name for their elf, an age, some biographical details – and a special power that the elf can put to good use. Knowing details like this about a character makes them real.

World-Building

We’ll then move on to a storytelling ingredient that children really love – setting. Your setting is the world your story happens in, and children get a great kick out of creating worlds. They’ll draw a map of their world, with mountains, rivers, valleys, streets and towns. And they’ll give their land a name. I sense this land will have a strong Christmas theme.

This pic shows a Christmas village full of red houses that have stripy cone-shaped roofs like circus tents. There’s snow on the ground but the sky is clear.

If you live near Tramore in Co. Waterford and you have a budding writer in your house aged 7-10, you’ll find out more about my workshop here.Creating Exciting Plots

We all love Rudolph’s red nose, but imagine if that nose was stolen. Who would do such a wicked thing? The children at the workshop will solve the mystery, and the Five Ws plot to help them structure their ideas. They’ll figure out who stole the red nose, when it was taken, where it was hidden – and above all, why it was stolen.

Other Fun Wordy Activities

Between story activities, we’ll have other word fun, to help the children enhance their language and writing skills. They’ll come up with words for my Christmas hat, play guessing games and create a disgusting Christmas dinner. It’ll be a packed two hours!

If you’d like your kids to join in the fun, or you want to find out about my workshops in general – I promise my workshops for adults are just as much fun – contact me on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie.

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