The Writer’s Notebook

notebooksAn educator friend of mine shared the idea of a Writer’s Notebook with me and I love it! I talk with students about collecting words, but I hadn’t considered all the possibilities a Writer’s Notebook could hold.

As an author I have used notebooks or word documents to keep track of ideas, names, titles that pop into my head and the evolving versions of a story.


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I am a list maker in my personal and writing life, and for that I love steno pads. The middle division allows me to have more than one type of list on a page.

 

 

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I have a notebook where I did exercises from books on writing. Sometimes I flip through to see if an idea for a story might emerge.

 

 


For the teachers reading this I’m probably preaching to the choir, but parents or other caregivers think about introducing the Writer’s Notebook over the summer. It will keep writing interest and skills alive!

A child (or adult) with a notebook dedicated to writing will start to see themselves as a writer. A nice writing utensil helps too! And writers will tell you they don’t just write on certain days and times. So that notebook should always be handy.

So how might a child use the notebook?

  • To write thoughts or feelings
  • React to things they see or hear or that happen to them
  • T0 play with writing and with language
  • To keep a list of words
  • To invent new words
  • To list names they like
  • To write down things that inspire them
    • song lyrics, poems,  quotes from a book, movie or TV show
  • To sketch
  • To describe things using all 5 senses

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Remember this notebook is the writers. It is not for some else to correct or question. It is a place to experiment, where mistakes can be made. Think of it as a safe. It holds beautiful things that the owner can keep for themselves or choose to share with others.

Author: Holly Niner

Holly Niner is the author of No More Noisy Nights illustrated by Guy Wolek, and The Day I Ran Away illustrated by Isabella Ongaro. She has had numerous stories published in children’s magazines, and her previous picture books were award winners. Mr. Worry: A Story about OCD, received the 2005 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award, and I Can’t Stop: A Story about Tourette Syndrome, was the winner of the 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award and a 2005 Bank Street College of Education Best Book. Holly lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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