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Telling stories to improve writing

Here are some activities you can try to help your child use describing words:

  • Encourage your child to create pictures in their mind about what they hear and what they want to say. When you’re reading a story, ask your child to create a picture in their mind of what’s happening and then to describe the picture.
  • Talk with your child about the feelings of characters in stories they’ve read. Encourage your child to use feeling words in their own stories.
  • Ask your child to think of as many words as they can to describe a topic. This is called brainstorming. For example, if you’re talking about dogs, ask your child to brainstorm words about dogs, such as Dalmatians, tricks, leashes, seeing-eye dogs, kennels, veterinarian, grooming.
  • After your child has brainstormed many ideas, connect the ideas by putting them into categories and groups. For example, connect ideas about dog training such as obedience, teaching tricks, watch dogs, and seeing-eye dogs. Your child can use the connected words to talk or write more clearly about a topic.

​​​​​How can I help my child organize their thoughts?

Here are some activities you to help your child organize their thoughts:

  • Use the 5W and H questions (who are the characters in the story, what happened, when, where, why, and how did it happen) to help your child think about and include all the important information in a story.
  • Encourage your child to practice telling stories in the correct order using words like beginning, middle, end, or first, next, and last. Stories can be about what your child did on the weekend, what they watched on television, or what they read in a book.
  • Encourage your child to practice these organizing and describing skills. By using these skills regularly, they will slowly become a natural part of your child’s spoken and written language.​​

Where to go get help

For more information about how speech-language pathologists and audiologists can help, contact:

  • Your teacher to find out about school supports
  • Programs at your local library
  • Visit the Talk Box - A parent guide to creating language rich environments ​

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