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Allow reading to build your writer

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I (Carrie) now have a Little Free Library in my front yard.

I’ve wanted one for at least a decade, and this was the year my dream came true. (Emily will probably follow suit very soon! She would LOVE it.) 


My kids grew up surrounded by books. (I have them in every room of my house, and now I have them outside.) I know for sure that raising writers also means you are raising readers.  In fact, one of the best ways to multi-task writing instruction is to teach your children to read like writers. Reading like a writer means you draw attention to the craft of the story. It’s a bit like figuring out how magicians do their tricks. Your older writers are probably doing this naturally, but your drawing attention to it can help this skill to grow.  Consider giving it a try on your next read aloud or book discussion.


Here are 3 simple suggestions to help:

1. Honor the author

Say the author’s name and call attention to the fact that there is a WRITER behind every book. “What else have you read by this author?” “How does this book compare?” “Do you notice that this author has a certain style?”

2. Pause for beautiful language

Get excited by cool ways the author says things.  “I’ve never heard it described that way, have you?” I’m often wow-ed by great opening lines.  “I have to write that phrase down so we can keep it.” And then we look at it on the refrigerator for  awhile.

3. Be co-authors

This can be a little mind blowing. Ask questions like, “How else might this story have ended?“ Are there any other scenes you wish the author would haveincluded?” As you talk about these things, it is sort of like “writing in the air.” Your writers might need to capture these ideas in a notebook before they fly away.

You don’t want to do this every time, but enough of these conversations create writers who are developing stronger awareness and skills with every read.

It’s also just a lot of fun.

Write On!

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