Sunday, March 22, 2009

A wonderful writing tool to help the creativity of your children.

WriteShop is a company who wants to help student to write well. And as part of their products they have create something called WriteShop StoryBuilders. What is WriteShop StoryBuilders you might wonder? It’s simply a stack of card decks that help the student to use creative writing by giving him/her basic elements of a story – character, character trait, setting, and plot. Whether you have a student who loves to write or one who needs a little push in the back to do so, StoryBuilders will help!

These are so versatile that you can use them in addition of your writing program or just for a fun activity to do with your student. Guarantee that you will have some little surprises and the student will have fun with them. Anyone can use them – from a kindergarten to a high school student and I would say even mom and dad can join the fun at writing a story! Each StoryBuilders are e-books that you can download easily on your PC. No shipping involved which is fantastic! Your e-book will contain 192 StoryBuilder card either in black print or colored print as well as 48 blank cards for your imagination! You will also find instructions and ideas on how to use the StoryBuilders cards.

The instructions are very simple and you can use the cards in various ways. Every card included in a StoryBuilder is different which means you can easily mix them and create a wonderful story… By mixing the different decks of cards of other WriteShop StoryBuilders, the student can have more character options, settings, or plots.

We had the opportunity to review the World of Animals which features animal characters and the World of Sports which features sports characters. My 2nd grader is enjoying them so well that the first thing he does in the morning is to pick the envelopes containing the different elements of a story. He sits down for 5 to 10 minutes with his notebook and creates new sentences. He told me that he really like doing this. Afterwards, I take his creation and make corrections if necessary and try to direct him in modifying his sentences a little bit. Here are some of his creations:

“An aggressive body surfer competes in a foreign country track while an ignorant
wrestler forgets the uniform or gear to go to the golf course. A snowboarder
tests his skills of underwater snowboarding and he’s in danger because there are
sharks. An unfriendly football player enters a football race in the park. A
moody surfer with a black top invents a new kind of energy food. An
argumentative fisherman competes in his own hometown in a boat while a spirited
sailor left behind a letter that said he’s going to a sport camp.”

From the WriteShop StoryBuilders World of Animals:

“ A curious snail meets a man in blue disguise under the couch. A restless
eagle went to school because he was trapped in a sudden storm. A puzzle octopus
in an amusement park can turn into a human. A nervous worm under a tree stump
becomes a stuffed toy. A shy raccoon hiding in the pantry was stalked by a
predator. And a ridiculous spider went in his spaceship with his toy box and
landed on the moon.”
I know the text doesn’t make sense but to see his smile when he comes to me with his new sentences is priceless. This morning, he even asked his younger brother, who is 3 years old, to choose some of the elements from the piles. They had fun together. What a great way to include the little ones!

I can easily see the fun of bringing these on a trip just to practice writing and creativity. I realize that I need to sit down with my son and help him to expand more on his paragraphs in the future. I’m really impressed on how easy to use the StoryBuilders are and how little it takes to sparks the imagination of a 7 years old!

Other WriteShop StoryBuilders are available on their website. You will be able to find People which feature a bunch of human characters and a mini-builder about Christmas. However, the authors didn’t want to encourage children to re-write the true Christmas story so the creativity will be more holiday-themed oriented with characters like snowman, nutcracker, etc. Also, the World of Imagination is announced as coming soon on their website which will include fantasy and fairy tale characters.

You might be wondering how much the StoryBuilders are. Their regular price is 9.95$ US but right now on the website they are on sale for 7.95$ US. Seeing how much my son enjoys them, I will go get the People StoryBuilders since it is the one we are missing. Please note that the price of the Christmas mini-builder is less because it is smaller than the other StoryBuilders.

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