Sunday, January 25, 2009

Write Shop StoryBuilders Review

Do you have trouble getting your kids to write? Even coming up with an idea to write about? WriteShop has come up with a nice way to overcome this "writer's block" many of our children seem to have. StoryBuilders are decks of cards (in ebook format) that will spark your child's creativity.

Each deck contains four different types of cards: character, character trait, setting and plot. This gives the child the basic elements needed to complete a story on their own. There is an abundant amount of choices within each of those categories. Not only does this make it easier for your child to get started writing, but it's also fun! They suggest three different ways your child can choose his cards. We like the "Blind Pick" method. It's pretty funny to see what combinations you end up with.

My son is NOT a writer and he really doesn't even like having to tell about something. I was really hesitant about whether or not this would work. This actually helped him to come up with a story on his own. It was a small story but a story nonetheless! But what I noticed was that each time we used these cards, his story got a little longer and had a little more detail. These are definitely worth looking into if you have a reluctant writer or an aspiring writer that needs some inspiration.

All StoryBuilder decks can be used together because none of the cards are the same. They are fast and simple to use. There is not a lot of teacher preparation once the cards are printed, cut, and the child understands the concept. You can basically put out the piles and let them go on their own. These can be used from kindergarten to high school. Just vary what you require from the student. There are also some blank cards included for you to write your own words in for each category.

Some suggestions for other ways to use this product: These could be used orally in the car when traveling. In fact, my son really doesn't like the physical aspect of writing either, so I had him tell his story into a tape recorder. He thought this was neat and enjoyed playing it back and listening to it. I could then type up his story for him and keep all of them in a binder. I could also let him illustrate each story and cover art at the same time. There are several other suggestions given as well in the directions.

These decks are available in a couple of different topics such as World of People, World of Animals, Christmas Mini-Builder, and coming soon, World of Imagination.

Be sure to check out some of the other products Write Shop has by clicking here. They include writing programs for K-12.

These StoryBuilder Cards (ebook) are $7.95 each. The Christmas one is available for a limited time at $3.95 (at the time of this review, it was still available on their site).

Heidi Miller-Ford

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