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.
- Gather your materials. You will need some dry erase markers, a dry erase board/easel and a big imagination.
- Start by writing out a simple story on the easel with dry erase markers. 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.
- Invite your writer to come fill in the blanks. Have them read it out loud.
- Fill in the blanks. My 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, and 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.
- He didn’t like my ending so he edited it. “When he got home his magic sword would shock people.”
- When he was done writing he proudly read it back to me.
Watching my son write this really showed me how hard whiteboards can be for new and struggling writers. Many need the friction of a chalkboard to help them form letters correctly. This easel has a blackboard 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 This Easel
Fill out the form below. Please, only one entry per household. SWEEPSTAKES NOW CLOSED
The 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 close on January 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm 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 to the winner free of charge from Melissa & Doug.
For more fun activities, make sure to follow me on Facebook!