In this activity, your child will write about a personal experience or memory by dictating to you and then illustrating the memory.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Reading and Writing
- Crayons or markers
You can begin by asking your child to recall a recent experience or memory, for example, something that happened over the weekend, a family trip, or a community outing. If he is having trouble, you might suggest one: “Remember when we went fishing at the lake and you caught two fish?”
You can begin to draw the scene together (artistic talent does not matter) and ask your child to think about what words he would like you to write about the picture. Then invite your child to work with you to make a story about that memory. He can continue to suggest words or sentences about what is being drawn and recalled about the event. If needed, your child can be prompted with some questions such as:
- “Do you remember who came with us?”
- “Where did we go?”
- “How did we get there?”
- “What happened first?”
- “What was your favorite part?”
- “What happened next?”
- “Then what did we do?”
Record the sentences as he dictates them. Once complete, you can read back what was dictated.
- Don’t worry if your child is not ready to try to write anything himself yet. Four- and five-year-olds are just learning about letters and writing, so it’s okay if your child draws and you do all the writing.
- Plan to do this activity following a trip or local event you’ve attended together!
- You might want to print out some photos to go with your child’s memory story and drawing. Or you might want to look at some photos of the activity together to refresh his memory before starting to write and draw.
- You can take regular opportunities to make memory pages like this one and put them together in a binder or scrapbook to preserve their childhood memories and adventures.
- Modeling meaningful writing yourself will encourage your child to want to write. So when you write a grocery list, a note to a family member, or an entry in a diary or journal, let your child see you doing these things and tell him about what you are doing.