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  • Writer's pictureGaila Cohen Morrison

Dear Gaila - Summer Projects to do with Children that Encourage Writing (Part III)

In the past few weeks I shared with you fun, free summer activity that will get your kids reading. and encourage spelling, grammar, phonemic awareness and reading. This week I'll share a writing improving activity idea.

Dear Gaila,

Summer is around the corner. Since I'm off with them anyway, I'd like to take advantage of the vacation and encourage their reading and writing in English skills. On the other hand, it's vacation! I want them to enjoy their time. Do you have any creative ideas to do with them?

Desperate-For-Ideas Mom

Write a letter to loved ones and practice writing skills in the summer!

Dear D.F.I. Mom,

By now, your children are reading books, busy playing and improving their spelling/grammar/reading of hard words and so on. But what about their writing skills? The following idea can make some people very happy:

As a grandma I LOVE getting letters from my grandchildren. Letters from students are just as heartwarming. This is an opportunity to thank people who have given them things - money and toys, or wonderful care and teaching, or an enjoyable time together. It is also an opportunity to teach your children gratitude - as well as writing skills!

Writing letters can be an opportunity to practice writing skills

The writing level should be appropriate for your child's age and abilities. A very young child can dictate the letter to you and practice the letters he knows or signing his name.

Provide beginning level writers with starter phrases: "I was so ___ when I saw the...", "It makes me so___ ..." Have a short discussion before phrasing his thoughts, and help him find keywords such as thank you, great, happy, wonderful, interesting and so on. Put those down in large, clear letters on a sheet of paper and let him go at writing. Remind him of capital letters and periods!

The older child might need some help in remembering good paragraph writing skills - topic sentence, supporting sentence, closing sentence. If she is unsure of the spelling in certain words, have her look up them up or write them down for her.

Send those letters off!

Don't forget to praise them for their efforts - take a picture of it and send it off right away for Dad or another relative to see what they have accomplished. And don't forget to MAIL THE LETTER!!

Expect a delighted phone call soon!


Gaila has almost 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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