WriteShop provides writing programs for Grades Primary through High School. Writeshop’s StoryBuilders are designed to kick-start creative writing for children from Primary and up. There are currently four StoryBuilder e-books in the series: World of People, World of Animals, World of Sports, and Christmas Mini-Builder, and coming soon, "World of Imagination. We received "World of Animals" and "World of Sports" to review. Each e-book consists of printable cards – cardstock makes good, sturdy, re-usable cards, and if you wanted them to be spill-proof you could laminate them or cover with clear mac-tac. There are 4 categories: character, character trait, setting, and plot. There is no need to keep the different sets separate as each set has completely different words in order to mix and match. Students choose one from each category and write or tell a story about them. The e-book includes a number of ways to do this – random picking, rolling a die, or letting the child decide. One of the suggestions I would never personally use is timed story-writing, as I’m sure it would send my children into a panic, and what if they get on a roll with their story and just keep writing for an hour? One good idea they provide is to use the cards to tell stories in the car – we parents are always looking for something for those inevitable long car trips.
My 5-year-old daughter enjoyed choosing some options as I read them out to her and making up a brief story. My 9-year-old son already has a few novels on the go LOL, and he prefers to play the card game "Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game" with the family, something we’ve been doing together for years.
If you have children reluctant to do creative writing, are out of ideas to get them started, and don’t have the time to make your own cards, these e-books are currently on sale for $7.95 US each, with the Christmas mini-book being $3.95.
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