It is important to me that my children be able to write well since that is a communication tool that will assist them in all areas of their lives. So many times, though, I am met with comments like "but I don't know what to write" or "I don't know where to start." Ballerina has been exercising her creative writing skills using Creative Freewriting Adventure, which includes the Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition, from Home School Adventure Co.
For this review, we received
- Creative Freewriting Adventure: A Journey into Freewriting
- Creative Freewriting Adventure: A Journey into Freewriting Coloring Book Edition
Both of these are downloadable PDF files. The only difference between the two editions is the availability of coloring pages in the coloring book edition. We chose for Ballerina to use the coloring book edition because she enjoys coloring and adding illustrations to her writing.
The Creative Freewriting Adventure book contains ten freewriting exercises. Each exercise includes background on a philosopher, story background to help set the stage for the freewriting activity, a freewriting assignment, a page on which to write, and (in the coloring book edition) a page to color that accompanies the assignment prompt.
Some of the philosophers she learned about were Democritus, Xenophanes, and Thales.
Ballerina used these freewriting activities to balance out her regular writing curriculum. I found that, by allowing her a couple of days a week to depart from the structured writing assignments to complete a freewriting activity, her structured writing became less tedious for her. It sort of helped her to know that she would have some days to write "from her heart."
The premise of Creative Freewriting Adventure is for the student to simply write - not worry about punctuation, grammar, etc., but to get pen on paper and allow ideas to flow. Ballerina would read through the background information and the assignment. Each assignment provides several questions to facilitate the imagination. These questions helped her to establish a background, to think about possible dialogue, and to incorporate her senses into her writing. After reading through all of that, she would set a timer for 15 minutes and start writing.
I have loved seeing the creativity that has flowed from her freewriting. She has incorporated various voices into her writing; for example, in a couple of the exercises she addressed it in first person, a couple were written in second person, and a few were in third person.
Once the timer went off and she completed her writing, Ballerina would color the coloring page to help illustrate her story more. In this one, she wrote about a world where everything is bathed in a purplish tint and animals can talk.
I like the fact that this gave me mostly free range to write whatever I wanted in response to the prompt. The exercises were inspirational and helped me think of story ideas that I might not have thought about before. The coloring pages gave me a broader view of what I was writing about and helped me get into the story more.
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