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Story planning for children

A recent edition to our free resources collection is a cake story planner. Cake features a lot at Inkpots! We celebrate the end of term with home-made cake, as well as having some at our holiday workshops too. Lots of our children are also enthusiastic bakers – does it go with the territory?

I had been thinking about producing a simple story planner for some time, but it really came to life following a workshop with some young carers. By the end of my time with them, the cake planner was more or less designed!

By using a slice of cake, the children can build up the various layers of their story; there are some simple instructions on the sheet too. Please do download the planner and share it with those children who may well enjoy it. Click here to find out more.

However, using a story planner like this isn’t the only way that children can be encouraged to plan stories out. In fact, a number of times at the after school clubs, children will complain of having to plan out their stories in school. I think though,  that it is a good idea to encourage children to plan out at least some part of their stories; by nature, some children really love the planning process but for others it isn’t as attractive. The problem for the latter is that their ideas can become muddled and they lose track of what is happening to their characters. (I am currently helping unravel a fabulous story which has just lost its way a bit – and there have been a few tears.)

So, at Inkpots, we suggest that the other ways to plan out stories can include:

  • spider diagrams
  • notebooks
  • collages
  • story boards.

But, I believe, whichever system is used, it has to be fun. With my own writing, some of the most enjoyable bits are the planning and researching; for other people though, that’s a nightmare! So I really don’t believe in forcing a method onto any of our children. It’s more important to help them find what works best for them.

I would love to hear about any ways which work for you, your children and/or pupils. You may also be interested to know that Inkpots is going online (every time I say that I can’t quite believe it!) in May – you can sign up here to be kept up-to-date with the latest news. Thank you.

Happy planning!

Gill

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