• Writers keep track of lists, images, feelings, and events that might turn into great stories.
    Stuck?  Make some lists.  Challenge yourself to brainstorm a single topic for ten minutes.  It might seem like forever, but you'll be surprised how many ideas you have!
       ♦  Things I love.
       ♦  Things I can't stand!
       ♦  Places I have traveled/would like to visit.
       ♦  I know a lot about...
       ♦  Things that make me laugh.
       ♦  Embarrassing moments.
       ♦  If I ruled the world...
       ♦  Boring things.
       ♦   The first time I...
       ♦   The last time I... 
       ♦   Times I learned important things about myself. 

    Here's a fabulous way to generate a story idea.  
    Just pull the lever and see what you get!
    rules writers follow.
    Schoolhouse Rock is genius!
    Writing Contests...if that's your thing.
    PBS Kids (for kindergarten-third only)
    The Betty Award (featuring cash prizes!) 
    Beat poetry appeared on the scene in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as people tried to make sense of life after WWII.  Anyone interested in changing the way people thought and wrote through poetry could be a beatnik poet, but many of the most famous came from New York City and San Francisco. The stereotype of a beatnik poet is someone standing alone at a microphone, wearing a beret, reciting something serious and deep. Bongos, sunglasses, turtlenecks. You get the idea. Here are a few videos to spoofing beat poetry:
    • Tom Hanks performs a Full House poem--hilarious! 
    • Sesame Street has a great AT poem. 
    • Beatnik Alphabet 
     Of course not all poetry performances fit the beatnik stereotype!
    • Asha Christensen performs a poem about writer's block at TedXKids. 
    • Harry Baker performs a poem about prime numbers and explains what a poetry slam is. 
    Persuasive Writing
    We're all about the chocolate milk, chocolate milk, chocolate milk. 
    A restaurant review in photos
    So Jasper is "done" with chocolate milk.  What DOES he care about? 
    The pros and cons of school uniforms
    Facts against school uniforms. 
    Facts in favor of school uniforms. 
    The website ProCon has a lot to say! 
    What else can you find? 
    The pros and cons of year-round schooling
    This article might help. 
    The National Education Association has some thoughts and links to additional articles. 
    Check out Seattle Pi for even more information.
    What else can you find? 
    Why kids need recess
    Do we even need to consider arguments against recess?! 
    What else can you find? 
    Pros and cons of cell phones in schools.
    Facts about cell phone use in school. 
    Even more on cell phones in schools from Buzzle
    And an informational article from Putnam County. 
    What else can you find?  Should kids be allowed to have phones in school? 
    The Huffington Post is clearly in favor of limiting screen time!
    Here's a mom who doesn't believe in limiting screen time. 
    Commonsense Media has some tips that might be helpful. 
    Consumer Reports did a poll.  Find out what some parents think about limiting screen time. 
    Try writing like Sandra Cisneros.  What does your name mean? 
    Typing Practice
    There's no doubt about it.  Writing is hard work.  At least good typing skillsmake the mechanics of it a little easier! 
    Thanks, Jamison, for telling us about freetypinggames.net