We spent four months in Greece with Granny Caz during and after Dad’s illness. Once of the best things about being in Crete, other than Caz, was reading the Greek myths and learning about our local area.
The girls loved reading about Odysseus and Theseus and we used their enthusiasm for some contextual writing activities.
Upon visiting the local ‘bottomless lake’ and reading the legend behind it, Freya created a mythical creature called ‘Calm’. Calm then featured in her very own myth about Crete, Zeus and the lake that was in our local town.
Writing about a setting that a child has visited, can picture in their mind’s eye and can descibe in detail is a great way to get entry into creative writing.
Also, reading a selection of stories from a specific genre for pleasure together makes identifying the styles and features of those texts easier when then planning a story of your own.
We often draw a story map to plan out our writing as this is a great none verbal visual reminder of what comes next.
Finally, as we were writing a book, it gave us a great reason to edit our work and write it up in ‘best’ to share more widely with the local community who know the lake. A really authentic purpose for our writing.
In addition, after getting increasingly frustrated that mummy (aka me) could never remember which protagonist was in which story (sometimes for effect, and sometimes couldn’t actually remember) she created a Greek Myth Hero reference book to help me remember.
Of course, most people reading this will not be in Greece, however most places have some sort of local history, local stories, local heroes etc. that could be the stimulus for writing in some way.
As we did, it is easy to write some none fiction work detailing the characters from a fictional work as a way into exploring non-fiction texts if this is not your normal reading matter.