I’m going to be honest today…not that I’m not honest in every post, but today I feel like I need to admit something…English was NOT my favorite subject in school. There are many reasons why, some of which stem back to my lack of a desire to read, but we don’t need to go into all of that right now.
What I did love about English was any time I was encouraged to write. Just write. I’m not talking about writing an essay based on a book I read or writing a paper based on research I conducted. I’m talking about just sitting down and writing a story.
I’ve always loved story-telling and I can remember very clearly a time in the 5th grade when we were instructed to just sit down and write. My peers wrote a couple of paragraphs, some small short stories…I wrote 4 pages, front and back. I wrote about an adventure that a young girl went on. I believe there were some forest creatures involved, I can’t really remember. But I have such fond memories of that day in English class because I wasn’t told what I had to write about. I was just allowed to be.
Creative writing or even creative storytelling can be such a powerful tool for a young child. It’s amazing what the mind can create when given the opportunity. Of course as an Occupational Therapist I love the idea of a child sitting down and writing something. Not only are they working on fine motor skills such as handwriting and bilateral coordination (writing with one hand, stabilizing the paper with the other) but they are also using their executive functioning skills such as organizing and planning, paying attention to the task, starting a task and staying focused on it through completion and self-monitoring (keeping track of what you are actually doing).
Such a simple activity can work so many important skills. Skills that are necessary to be successful in school and life. A child doesn’t need to know how to write to participate in creative storytelling, they just need to have an imagination 🙂