Are reading and writing separate subjects? The answer is . . . wait for it . . . NO!
Here’s a bit more on what I mean. Oral language skills are the foundation for reading and writing skills. Hence, poor comprehension and production of oral stories may lead to decreased ability to comprehend or produce written narratives. If I don’t tell stories with detailed characters in them, I probably don’t pay close attention to characters in stories I hear or read and I can safely assume that stories I write will not include deep character analysis.
Let’s take it one step further . . .
Writing is a great way to teach reading comprehension skills. Having to take on the role of an author gives your kiddo firsthand experience of how story elements coexist in stories: characters, place, time, initiating event (what happens to set the story in motion), characters’ internal reactions (feelings, goal, plan), attempts to reach the goal, consequences of the attempts, etc. When a student takes on the role of story maker during the writing process, he becomes a more aware reader. Is that what we want? YES!
On that note, today’s blog post is short and sweet, so you can use that time to try or revisit Storybird (storybird.com). On this website, students choose from professional artwork to jumpstart their writing online. Simple tools allow them to write and publish picture books (K-grade 5), longform chapter books (grades 5-9), and poetry. Students also receive social feedback from Storybird's global community.
Not sold yet? For more information, view this video: youtube.com/watch?v=PJ9ycfrCR44