A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon! Get Ideas from Calendar Events.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 31, 2013


Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon!  Get Ideas from Calendar Events.” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“A Writer’s Playground” –A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon. 

What is a bandwagon?  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bandwagon 

Why would I say that there is a November writing bandwagon?  Because it’s true.  Read this article from 2012 for ideas shared about this writing movement.  http://thepaperwait.blogspot.com/2012/09/time-to-jump-on-nanowrimo-bandwagon.html  When I did a Google search, this article was first on the list.  I follow this particular group’s blog; so I chose it for a link.   Go Paper Wait group!

Those of you in the USA, what do you think of when you hear “November?”  My guess is that Thanksgiving would be the number one response.  If you’re a writer and you’d like to write a novel in a month (50,000 words),  you probably think of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) when someone says “November.”  Join others here:  http://nanowrimo.org/

If you prefer to write shorter works, but would still like to be part of a group, consider joining Tara Lazar’s program for Picture book writers called Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).  The goal:  to record one picture book idea per day for the month of November.  http://taralazar.com/2013/10/01/piboidmo-logo-badge-and-guest-bloggers/

Here’s the badge I proudly display to show I am registered for PiBoIdMo.  Learn more below.

piboidmo2013-slogan-490x301[1]

Julie Hedlund has posted a video as a promo for PiBoIdMo. http://taralazar.com/2013/10/27/pre-pibo-day-3-julie-hedlund/ She describes this as “the most wonderful time of the year.” 

Julie designed her own program to encourage writers to turn 12 picture book ideas into 12 manuscripts.  She suggests beginning with PiBoIdMo.  See here:  http://www.juliehedlund.com/12-x-12/

I have decided to comb the following November activities for picture book manuscript ideas.  Maybe you’d like to join me.  If not, consider celebrating one or more of the events mentioned here to add “spice to your life.” For the meaning of this expression, check here:  http://www.idiomquest.com/learn/idiom/spice-up-your-life/  By the way, many people add spices to holiday cooking, and it’s fast becoming that time of year!

Special Days in November:

  • National Authors’ Day:  1  Who is your favorite author(s)?  Have you read a biography or website/blog notes about the person?  Are there facts you’d like to share with a friend?
  • Cookie Monster Day:  2  How do you think this character got his name?  Research to see if you’re correct.
  • Cliche Day:  3  What is a cliche?  http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-cliches.html   Share one with someone and see if he/she knows what it means.  Listen for cliches this month.  Where did you hear them?  Who do you know who loves to use them?  Who do you know who says claims to hate them?  Why?
  • Jellyfish Day:  3  http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/animals-pets-kids/invertebrates-kids/jellyfish-kids/
  • Sandwich Day:  3  Check out the history of the sandwich:  http://www.kidzworld.com/article/26495-history-of-the-sandwich
  • Fill Our Staplers Day:  4  Have you ever been asked to get the stapler for your teacher?  Did she run out of staples before finishing her project?  Should this job be added to the Helpers Chart in classrooms?  Why or why not?
  • International Tongue Twister Day:  10  What is your favorite tongue twister?  Listen for tongue twisters this month–ones that are well know and words or phrases that people have trouble saying and have to slow down to get right.  Can you write one of your own?
  • Origami Day:  11  I received an origami gift from a friend.  It was an origami wreath.  Children at a local school made origami cranes and sold them to help a charity event.  A friend decorated her Christmas tree with origami ornaments.  Tell other ways origami brings joy. 
  • Veterans Day:  11  Who is a veteran in your family?  In your neighborhood?  What organizations in your area serve veterans?   Does your church do anything special for the military?  Have you ever participated?
  • World Kindness Day:  13  List ways to show kindness.  Choose one or more to do on this day.  Who will you show kindness?  Can you show kindness to someone who is not a friend?  How?
  • Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day: 14  What does this message mean?  Who might need to hear this message?  Why? 
  • National American Teddy Bear Day:  14  Have you owned more than one teddy bear?  Make a drawing that includes some details from each one.  For example:  A wind-up key from one, a large red bow from another, and a favorite shirt from another.  Part of the bear might be brown, another part dark brown, and another part white.  Tell your parents what you remember about your favorite teddy bears.  Learn the jump rope chant about a teddy bear.  Recite it to your bears.
  • I Love to Write Day:  15  I love to write and I love learning to be a better writer.  What do you enjoy writing?  Do you like to text, pass notes, write in a diary, do research reports, etc.  Ask a friend what he/she likes to write. 
  • International Day for Tolerance:  16  What does tolerance mean?  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance  List things that come to mind when you hear this word.  Pick a cause from your list.  How can you show more tolerance?
  • National Button Day:  16  Have you ever sorted buttons, played with the buttons on a push button phone?  What other memories do you have with buttons?
  • National Day of Play:  16  What was the last time you did really silly, playful things?  What were they?  Who do you know who would never try something silly.  Challenge them to play today.  After all, it’s the perfect day for it. 
  • Name Your PC Day:  20  You give a pet a name, maybe even a stuffed animal.  How about your PC or Mac computer?  Ask your friends for suggested names.  Pick one.  Is it a nickname?  Do you know what a nickname is?  Would you want to choose one for your computer? 
  • Universal Children’s Day:  20  If you could meet a child from somewhere else in the world, where would you want the person to be from?  Why?  What three things would you choose to share with the person?  What would you ask the person?  What do you think you might be asked?
  • Great American Smokeout:  21  Research and learn more about this day.  Who do you know that is a smoker?  What new fact could you share after reading here?  http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/
  • World Television Day:  21  Check your TV guide and see how many programs about other countries are scheduled for today.  Which ones interest you?  Why?  What things in our country might interest viewers from elsewhere?  Why?
  • Family Volunteer Day:  23  What volunteer programs has your family participated in?  What programs would you like to add?  Many families get involved at Christmas.  Would that interest you?  Discuss volunteer project ideas with your family.
  • Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day:  24  What would you say is your unique talent?  How are you developing your talent so it improves?  How do you feel when you are actively using your talent?  Give an example.  How can you use your talent to help others? 
  • Mother Goose Day:  24  Name as many Mother Goose rhymes as you can.  How many can be sung?  Find a copy of the book and share a few rhymes with a younger sibling or read them to your parents.  See if they will act them out with you. 
  • National Day of Listening:  27  What do you enjoy listening to?  What is it difficult to listen to?  Why?  What can you do to be a better listener when it is difficult to do so?  Why is this important to learn?
  • Stay Home Because You’re Well Day:  30  When I read this one, it made me chuckle.  Why? It’s an example of irony.  What is irony?  See here.  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irony  Write an example of something ironic. 

Special Weeks: 

  • World Communication Week:  1-7  Are you able to communicate with people in other parts of the world?  How?
  • Health Information and Technology Week:  3-9  What are ways to gain health information and technology skills?  Which of these have you done?  Did you find it helpful?  Why or why not?
  • Give Wildlife a Brake! Week:  4-8  Why do you think “brake” is spelled this way?   Check here for ideas to make this a special time.  http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/give_wildlife_brake.html
  • Dear Santa Letter Week:  7-23  Why is it fun to write Santa?  Who else do you like to write letters?  Have you ever written thank you notes and sent them in the mail?  Have you ever made a special thank you card?  Do you have relatives in other states who you could write?  Maybe you could find a pen pal cousin.
  • Pursuit of Happiness Week:  7-13  What is the pursuit of something?  What do you pursue?  If you decide to pursue happiness this week, how will you go about it?
  • Geography Awareness Week:  10-16  What would be a meaningful way to study world geography?  Find places on a map where family members and friends live and places they visit. Keep the map posted for a year and see how the flagged spots grow.  What other things could you do for geography awareness?
  • National Farm-City Week:  22-18  Are you from the country, farm, city, suburbs?  What do you see when you make short trips to buy groceries, go to school, etc.?  A pen pal told me about her home in Sweden and I told her about my home in North Carolina.  It was fun.  What could you do?
  • National Game & Puzzle Week:  24-30  What games do you play with your family, with friends, with classmates?  How many pieces are in the puzzles you complete?  Do you like to put puzzles together alone or with others?  My mom sets up a card table and leaves the puzzle out until it is finished.  What do you do?

November is…

    • American and National Diabetes Month
    • Aviation History Month
    • Historic Bridge Awareness Month
    • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
    • National Adoption Month
    • National Novel Writing Month
    • National Family Literacy Month
    • National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
  • Choose one or more of these events and decide how to make it a special part of your month.  For example, several bridges are being repaired or replaced in my hometown.  I could read articles about these local projects.  I could also read nonfiction picture books about bridges or read a back issue of Cobblestone magazine about The Brooklyn Bridge.  Here is the teacher guide I wrote to accompany this particular magazine.  https://cobblestonepub.com/pdfs/COB/COB1003.pdf  I could  watch a documentary about The Brooklyn Burns by Ken Burns.. 

What will you celebrate this month?  What will you research?  What will you read about?  I look forward to reading your comments.

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for November celebration information.  For more November observances check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/NOVEMBER2013.html

Please note:   Children 14 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon and bring a friend. 

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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15 Responses to “Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon! Get Ideas from Calendar Events.”

  1. Dear Linda,
    Thanks for writing about November’s many wonderful activities. I especially enjoyed the cliche link. Celebrate your wealth of knowledge that you share with us.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    • Joan,
      I’m glad you found a favorite entry. Cliches are generally considered a “no no” in writing, but I don’t think kids today know them like their elders.

      Thanks for commenting! Happy writing in November.

  2. just shared on FB. What a huge amount of stuff you put together!

  3. Linda, I’m in awe of this wealth of info and I want to know how long it takes you to research all these wonderful details!

  4. Maureen Wartski said

    Your post is full of great ideas! I am going to read it again and again. Thank you, Linda!

  5. Hi Linda,
    I won’t need to participate in PiBoldMo as you provide so many wonderful links and resources that spur ideas. Ah, perhaps I should go through this post and all the others I’ve kept and compile my story ideas. Cliches also jumped off the page for me as they did Joan. Did you know a lot of our cliches can be found in the Bible?
    Thanks,
    Tracy

    • Hi Tracy,
      It’s great to hear that you believe story ideas are contained in the calendar event posts. Record any ideas that you get as you read through the calendar events list. I wish you much success.

      The Bible is a terrific source for lots of literature and a guide to living and loving. What came to mind when you thought of the Bible as a source?

      I hope your writing and art take you on some fantastic journeys.

      • I most certainly do! Off the top of my head, a cliche hasn’t popped up, but Proverbs is packed full of wise and funny sayings. Here’s one off the top of my head, so forgive me if I don’t have it quite right. A nagging wife is worse than listening to a dripping faucet. LOL.

      • Tracy,
        This one is funny! Thanks for sharing. Maybe that’s one reason why writers are advised to show and not tell. 😉

  6. Wow Linda! What a list for November. However, I looked and looked and didn’t see my birthday listed anywhere. 😉

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