{fill in the blank} Easel Stories

early writing activity for kids My daughter got this Melissa & Doug easel from Santa and she loves it but at our house we share most everything and her brother got a chance to play with the easel with this Fill in the Blank Easel  Story.  Writing , spelling and reading all come together with creativity and storytelling in this fast to set up activity. If you do not have an easel you can enter for a chance to win one from Melissa & Doug below or use a big sheet of paper on the wall. The reason I am suggesting the wall or an easel is because when kids write on vertical surfaces likes these their arms, wrists and hands naturally go into the proper position for writing. This makes it easier for many kids that struggle and doesn’t hurt those who aren’t either.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some dry erase makers, a dry erase board / easel and a big imagination.
  2. Start by writing out a simple story on the easel with dry erase markers.fill in the blank easel stories early literacy Here is mine – Once upon a time there was a ________ named _________. He was brave, smart and ____________ . One day he found a magic ____________ and it started to ____________. He thought that is was amazing and ran to show his ___________. when he got home his magic ____________ disappeared! He looked for it everyday but never saw it again.
  3. Invite your writer to come fill in the blanks.  Have them read it out loud.fill in the blank early writers activity
  4. Fill in the blanks. fill in the blanks spellingMy son kept asking me how to spell things. Here is what I do when he asks. I will ask him first to sound it out. If he is struggling I will help. Generally I ask that he uses his 6 year old spelling for everything. Spelling is developmental and if we skip stages in development there can be struggles later on. Invented spellings are a really important step. Kids aren’t misspelling things they are just spelling them at their level of development. As your child progresses feel free to correct them little by little. My son can read well and simple words like dog, hat, car are ones that I would not hesitate to correct his spelling but words like furious, sword or friends I am still encouraging him to sound out and spell at his level. Interestingly he spelled sword correctly later in the lesson.fill in the blanks sounding out and spelling
  5. He didn’t like my ending so he edited it. ” When he got home his magic sword would shock people.” fill int he blanks stories and spelling activity
  6. When he was done writing he proudly read it back to me.fill the blank stories for kids

Watching my son write this really showed me how hard white boards can be for new and struggling writers. Many need the friction of a chalkboard to help them form letters correctly. This easel has a black board on the other side and if you aren’t lucky enough to win it in our sweepstakes you can make your own dollar store ones like we did.

Enter For A Chance To Win

deluxe standing art easel from Melissa & Doug

Fill out the form below. Please only one entry per household. SWEEPSTAKES NOW CLOSED

Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel and Companion Set from Melissa & Doug

Official Rules
This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must enter your name and email in the google form embedded in this post. 1 winner will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on January 14th 2013 at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive the Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel and Companion Set , valued at approximately $115. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address to ship their easel and companion set to ,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 
I am a blog ambassador for Melissa & Doug and am compensated for my work. The sweepstakes prize is provided for the winner free of charge from Melissa & Doug.

Comments

  1. Chiska says

    Happened onto your blog today. I love this idea. I’m not sure how to enter the give-away–can’t find a form embedded anywhere. Thanks!

  2. Marcie says

    I love this idea, and will keep it in mind for when my daughter is a little older. She is 4.5 and starting to sound out and write words, but when she is finished writing a word with her imperfect spelling, she always asks if that’s the way the word is really spelled. If I say no, then she wants to erase her word and spell it the right way, and then she’s discouraged from sounding out words the next time. What should I tell her? Thanks for any advice you can provide!

    • admin says

      I would grab a dictionary and help her look it up. The goal is to help them develop sleeping skills not to give them answers even though I know i have said ” Truck ? T R U C K ” more than once. Sometimes I need to pop my teacher hat on more at home now that my son is older and it’s less intuitive.

      See if you can find a kids illustrated dictionary that let’s her do most of the search herself with you as a support.

  3. says

    Great! Thank you for the opportunity to win this. We have an easel that is in bad shape and was poor quality to begin with. I’ve had my eye on this one, but haven’t made the jump yet! Love the story idea.

  4. says

    I did this with my kindergartener. She loved it. She had always been doing it, but saying it out loud. We say fill in the blanks and make our own story just talking it out, so she was loving this. We usually say: “a BLANK went walking down to BLANK.” and then she fills in blank and returns with the next sentence. So this was familiar and actually she wanted me to make up story after story after story. GREAT IDEA! When I was a kid I got these books that had the stories written out like this but under it would say (adjective) (noun) (Plural noun) (verb) etc. and that will be nice to do when she gets older and learns parts of speech. Thanks for this idea that led to many more!
    Megan Slater

  5. Eliana says

    I remember using an easel when I was a kid! It was the best.

    Also I’d like to thank you for your great ideas. I’m taking a working with children class that has actual kids in it and your amazing ideas have saved me from more than one boring lesson plan!

  6. says

    That’s a great idea – and much less intimidating than a blank piece of paper for new writers. So interesting to learn about “invented spellings”. Thanks.

  7. Teresa says

    LOVE! Totally just made a poster for my wee one. Changed the pronouns to she/her – you know – girl power and all that! ;) Taped up a second giant sheet next to it for illustrations, because she loves to illustrate stories. :) Thanks for the wonderful, quick, and easy idea!

  8. patty slattery says

    blog ambassador? wow! i love melissa and oug products…good quality and very durable for my twins.

  9. says

    LOVE IT! You were DEAD ON with invented spelling. Spelling is totally a developmental thing, much like speaking. It is misunderstood, especially with younger children. Thank you for this post. Pinning and sharing!

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