Wednesday, June 15, 2011

500 Writing Prompts for Kids Giveaway for my 1 Year Blogiversary!

When Bryan Cohen, author of 500 Writing Prompts for Kids, contacted me through my blog about his book, I was interested in finding out more since teaching writing in our homeschool does not always come easy for me.   I welcomed the opportunity to review Bryan's book since I am always looking for ways to have my children enjoy the writing process and have them become better writers.

One of the first things I noticed about 500 Writing Prompts for Kids is that this 72 page book is very well organized.  In the Introduction, Bryan discusses why kids need to write and how to use the writing prompts. I also liked his suggestions on having parents write along with their children during the writing time.  There are 10 chapters and in each chapter there are categories with 10 writing prompts listed for each category.  For example, in Chapter 7 titled "The Seasons" there is the category "Summer" with 10 prompts about summer.  After all the categories and the 500 writing prompts are listed, Bryan gives creative ways to use the prompts to keep your child interested while they let their imaginations and pencils flow!

Having so many creative writing prompts at my fingertips is definitely a plus for me as a busy homeschool mom.  But, this book can also be used by busy classroom teachers since there are so many great prompts that can be adapted for any setting.  The possibilities of how parents and teachers can use this book are endless which makes this a resource that can be used for many years and for a wide age range.  Sometimes half the battle for me is coming up with topics that my children can write about.  Bryan's book saved me from having to think of prompts on my own.  The hundreds of prompts can be adapted for each child and can be used over and over again. 

One of my goals for this summer is to have my three older children (rising 6th grade daughter, rising 4th grade son, and rising 2nd grade daughter) write more so Bryan's book came just in time.  Since we are in the summer season, one of my children's favorite time of year, I thought I would try having my children write using the prompts in the summer category.

I first photocopied some of the prompts under "Summer" and cut each of them apart:

Then each day I had one of my children pick one of the prompts from our Question? box.  Here is my son picking out the prompt for the day:

Then after I read the prompt out loud, we discussed it and then I gave my children time to write.
I told them that they needed to write quietly for at least 20 minutes, but they could always use more time if needed.  I also let them know that I just wanted them to write and I would not be grading their work or correcting grammar or punctuation. (But, there was always so much editing I wanted to do :) )
Since I have done this with my children I have been surprised that there have been no tears and they actually sat and wrote out their thoughts. Some of my children chose not to write on the selected prompt and decided to just write a creative story.  I didn't force them to stay with the prompt since I just wanted them to get in the habit of writing and enjoy expressing themselves with pencil and paper.  Each of my children also enjoyed illustrating their writings when they were done.  I then gave my children time to share their writings with their siblings as they read what they wrote out loud for everyone.

I highly recommend Bryan Cohen's book for any parent or teacher.  It is a great resource to have on hand and it can be used in so many ways for a wide age range.   

It was a year ago this month that I began my blog and what a great year in blog land it has been!  To celebrate my blogiversary, I am hosting a giveaway by author Bryan Cohen.  Here are the details:

Author Bryan Cohen is doing a giveaway of his book 500 Writing Prompts for Kids for the next week along with a grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card!

Simply add your name and email to the InLinkz below and and you are entered in the drawing for one digital copy of the book on this site (there are over 10 sites involved in the giveaway, with one winner of a book per site). One lucky winner will be picked from all the sites to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

If Bryan's book, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids, reaches the top 500 in sales this week, he will add another $50 Amazon gift card to the drawing! The drawing will occur on June 23rd, so register your name and email address before the deadline! You can visit his website at Build Creative Writing Ideas.

Here's more details on how you can enter to win:

Just add your name and email to the InLinkz below.  The giveaway is open to all, even those who don't have a blog, so it is not mandatory to include your URL.  You may only enter once.   

  1. Your entry must have your email address included. If its not in your entry, and you’re the lucky winner, a new winner will be chosen.
  2. This giveaway ends 6/22/2011 at 12 Midnight EST – all entries must be in before.
  3. If you are the lucky winner, you have 48 hours to respond to an email from myself or Bryan Cohen. A new winner will be chosen if we do not hear back from you within that 48 hours.
  4. Winner will be announced on A Slice of Smith Life.

I am linking this review and giveaway to Hip Homeschool Moms Giveaway Day!
Giveaway Day

Join No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH) by clicking on button below! Hope to see you there!


Kara Chupp said...

Can't quite figure out how to add to the "linky"...I get a generic page...
but I think you have my email and this book looks really helpful.
Ours would love the idea of "picking" their own prompt and I want to keep them writing during the summer. Great post! Thanks!

Congrats on 1 year in Blog land:)!!! This looks like such a great activity to have for my kids would love to have it for our school:) i tried to link up but it wouldn't accept. Not sure what I did wrong.

HI Kara and Anna-Marie,
Thank you for your interest in registering for this giveaway :) I'm not sure what is going on with the Linky and I'm working on trying to get it fixed. Anna-Marie, I have you registered in my Inlinkz account with your email. I'm just trying to figure out how to get your name to show up on this post.
Kara, I didn't see your name and email on my account, but you will be entered. To make things easier to choose the winner though maybe try again to register and let me know what happens. I hope to resolve this linky problem soon. Thanks ladies and good luck!

OK, Anna-Marie, I just figured out why your name didn't appear as registered on this post. Now you are listed in the #1 spot. Kara, try to register again with the linky by clicking on "Add your link" and let me know if you have any trouble or questions! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! I would love to win this book for my children. I bought composition books for them to write this summer, but didn't know what to have as a writing topic. Thanks so much! Also, I don't know if I did the inlink right or not, my name doesn't show in red like the other 2(mine is in brown). Thanks again!

Dear Tracy,

It is so completely rewarding to see the pictures of you and your family using the prompts! I just teared up a little in the coffee shop I'm writing in today. I'm such a softy! :)

I'm really glad your children responded well to it and that you found the book organized and helpful! In addition, thank you to everybody who enters into the giveaway.

And last but not least: happy blogiversary! :)


HI Stephanie!
Thanks for entering the giveaway! I just wanted to let you know that you did do the inlink correctly as I have your name and email address recorded in my Inlink account that I just checked. The reason your name is not in red is because you did not also register a URL or webpage/blog address, which is not necessary to enter. FYI: If you click on the names in red it will take you directly to that person's blog/webpage. Thanks for entering and best of luck in winning!

HI Bryan,
I'm so glad you enjoyed this review post for your book! Thank you again for the opportunity to review it and use it with my children! Thanks also for the blogiversary wishes :)
Best wishes for a successful giveaway!

Unknown said...

Happy Blogiversary Tracy!!! What a great giveaway. I'm happy you figured out the issue with the InLinkz problem. I was away all day. I did miss a couple of days voting, but I'm back on track now. Have a blessed day.

Thanks Lynda! So glad you entered the giveaway! Best wishes in the contest and thanks for the picket fence vote :)

tammyhuffaker @ yahoo dot com

Renee said...

It' so good that you let your kids write without editing. I think those are really two different processes, and the editing has to be done at a different time. And Happy Blogiversary!

Hi tammyhuffaker,
Thanks for entering the giveaway!

Hi Renee Ann,
Thanks for stopping in, giving words of encouragement about teaching writing and anniversary wishes! Best wishes on the giveaway too! :)

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