A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for the ‘Critiquing writing’ Category

Q is for Question Marks, Quilts, and Quests

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 19, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “Q is for Question Marks, Quilts, and Quests” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Q is for Question Marks–and with that comes lots of questions

Some Q & A activities, just for fun…

  • Walk around your house with a question in mind.  Can you answer the question before your walk is complete?  For example:  What items in my house or yard begin with the letter “Q?”  I thought of quarter, quilt, and flowering quince.
  • In what class or classes at school would you expect to see a lot of question marks?  Give an example.
  • What written language uses inverted question marks?  How did you find the answer to this question?
  • What animal(s) is sometimes described as having a curly Q tail?
  • What is a good study skill habit that centers around questions when reading nonfiction?
  • What “W” questions and one “H” question are good to ask when writing a story?
  • Do you ever question your ability to do something?  What helps you build your confidence in situations like this?

Q is for Quilts

Years ago, I bought a quilt rack to display some of my oldest quilts.  Another special one was a gift from my mother-in-law.  Nice gift.  I also have commercially made quilts.  (See the photos below).    On our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband gave me a handmade quilt.  I was so excited.  I received a baby quilt for one son when he was born. The other son received a crocheted blanket.  I have featured a quilted apron at this blog.  You would think with this love of quilts and handmade things that I would quilt, but I don’t.  I’d rather admire someone else’s handiwork.  How about you?

IMG_0635

 

Commercial quilt--larger view. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Commercial quilt–larger view. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Q is for Quests

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/quest

I used to work as a school counselor in elementary schools.  When I taught classroom guidance, I often used a resource called  “Lions Quest Skills for Growing.”  Years later, I met a former student who told me he remembered me coming to his class and teaching lessons, and he remembered getting to hug Quinton the Bear–Q Bear, the program’s mascot.  He went on to say I was one of his favorite teachers.  It didn’t hurt that he got to hug Q Bear too. 😉

What are you on a quest for?

What “Q” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

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Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, art, Character Traits, crafts, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, goal setting, History, Homeschool Activities, Reading, Sewing, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

M is for Monkeys, Mamas, and Manuscripts

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 15, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “M is for Monkeys, Mamas, and Manuscripts” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Believe or not, monkeys, mamas, and manuscripts are connected in my mind.  I have two manuscripts out at this time.  One is about monkeys and other zoo animals.  The other is loosely based on a character who reminds me of my mama.

If you’re a writer, I challenge you to…

think of two or more “M” topics you have written about in manuscripts.  If that’s too restrictive, you chose what to share.

M is for Monkeys

Monkeys are fun.  Curious George, a famous monkey, was one of my children’s favorite book characters.   Maybe that’s one reason I chose to include monkeys in a manuscript.  Plus, I always loved the song/book “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  Maybe you’d like to hear it too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSGxfOojzE8

When my friend, Joan Edwards, invited me to spend a weekend with her, she surprised me with a beanie monkey to keep me motivated while writing my zoo manuscript.   MOTIVATED–another “M” word.  Here’s the monkey’s photo.  I have him displayed on my mantle, among cork framed sculptures and looking down on my writing desk.  I appreciate Monkey cheering me on.

Monkey from Joan Edwards. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

Monkey from Joan Edwards. Copyright 2016. Linda Martin Andersen

 

M is for Mamas

My mother has always been very supportive of my writing.  She has read rough drafts for me and let me know where things needed clarifying.  I decided to write a story loosely based on her as a child.  I am waiting to hear back on that submission.  My mama’s not your typical Mama.  Proof is in the pictures.

Gayle Martin on a zero-turn mower. Copyright 2014. Linda Andersen

Gayle Martin on a zero-turn mower. Copyright 2014. Linda Andersen

Gayle Martin on a mission trip to Haiti. She paints, she builds benches, etc.

Gayle Martin on a mission trip to Haiti. She paints, she builds benches, etc.

M is for Manuscripts

I keep sending them, and they (publishers) keep sending them back.  Actually, I’m joshing/joking a little.  I have sold some magazine stories, articles, activities, and poems.  I’ve had teacher guides published too.  So, I’m not really complaining.  Rejections happen, just like life happens.

Who else has manuscripts out there that you’re waiting to hear back from?  Good luck!  So what are you doing in the meantime?  Writing something else, I hope.

What “M” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, creative play, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, humor, storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

St. Patrick’s Day Riddle

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 17, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing
prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those
young at heart

“St. Patrick’s Day Riddle” by Linda Martin Andersen

Riddle-for-St-Patricks[1]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I hope you enjoyed this one.

And now for the backstory about writing this riddle:

I wrote a post about ways to celebrate March… https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/march-forth-do-something/

and I listed a writing prompt based on Dr. Seuss.  A friend recalled that she had celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with preschoolers who were served green eggs and ham.  I read her comment on St. Patrick’s Day.  I combined Dr. Seuss, green eggs and ham, with St. Patrick’s Day.  Like a three-ingredient recipe.  Sometimes, writing riddles is that simple.

Write a riddle of your own for St. Patrick’s Day Words you might want to include:

shamrock, green, leprechaun, pot of gold, pinch, Irish.

I hope you’ll share your riddle.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Critiquing writing, Homeschool Activities, humor, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , | 17 Comments »

What is Frogging?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 10, 2016


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

“What is frogging?” by Linda Martin Andersen

Check the definitions listed here:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/frogging

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=frogged

I visited a knitter’s blog recently and learned another meaning of the word frogging.  Read the article here.

https://greenfroggers.wordpress.com/what-is-frogging/

After reading the knitting article, I thought about my writing and created a riddle.

 

Riddle:  What might a writing work-in-progress (WIP) and a knitting project have in common?

Answer:  Frogging…Rip-it.  Rip-it!

IMG_0565

Writing Prompts:

  1. What comes to mind when you hear the word “frogging?”
  2. What do you think the frogs pictured above might say about “frogging?”
  3. What do you think the frogs above might say to each other?
  4. What name would you give the frogs above and why?
  5. What would knitters say about “frogging?”
  6. What would outdoorsmen say about “frogging?”
  7. How is frogging used on coats and other clothing?
  8. Write a riddle about frogging.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment about frogging.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Critiquing writing, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, humor, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Just Jot It January #9

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 9, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 jjj-2016[1]

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

“Just Jot It January #9” by Linda Martin Andersen

I accepted a challenge for January: Just jot a note and submit.  I can’t participate every remaining day this month, but I will join in when I can.

I decided to create a theme to write about:

Today, I celebrate a “Toothy Critique,” inspired by…

http://theforesterartist.com/2016/01/08/toothy-critique/comment-page-1/#comment-14693

I have been a follower of Tim Livingston’s blog, The Forest Artist, for several years.  Today’s post made me laugh.  It also caused me to reflect on a “toothy critique” I received.  That critique spurred me to rewrite until my manuscript is now marketable, according to a friend.  So, today I celebrate a “toothy critique.”

How about you?  Have you ever received a “toothy critique?” Were you able to use it in a positive way?  Tell about it.  What do you celebrate today?  I look forward to your comments.

Visit http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2016-rules/ for details about Just Jot It January and to comment on other participants’ posts.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear what you’re celebrating.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Character Traits, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, goal setting, Homeschool Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Before and After–Apron Remodel

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 24, 2015


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.”

“Before and After–Apron Remodel” by Linda Martin Andersen

“I didn’t know people wore aprons anymore,” my sister said when she learned that our mother was sewing one for me.  “Well I do,” I responded.  Mostly, I wear the one from a couple of decades ago when I “moonlighted” as a part-time waitress.  See definition of moonlighting here:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moonlighting

I prefer a bib style apron, as did my grandmother.  I inherited  a few of her aprons, which  I wear on special occasions.  Or I did until their last wash left them thread-bare.  I decided it was time to put these aprons on “inactive duty” and buy some new ones.

While shopping at the local downtown Farmer’s Market, I spotted some handmade aprons.  I asked the vender if I could see the one hanging behind her in the booth.  I loved its quilted skirt.  Somehow the bib didn’t seem quite right to me.  It was a little “loud” as my grandmother would have said.  The bib pattern was mostly red, not pink or lavender like the skirt.  Too bad it wasn’t the same material, so the two sections would blend perfectly.   I tried to think how I could modify the bib–perhaps add a lace panel to soften the color.  But as I stated to the clerk, “I’m not a lace kind of girl.” As I pondered some more, the clerk discounted the price, saying that people didn’t like the quilted bottom–that it was too heavy.  Funny, because that was what attracted me to it.  The vendor wanted to move on the sale.  I bought the apron and walked away determined to find a way to change it to “fit” me.

At home, I tried on the apron again and decided I could sacrifice some of the skirt length.  If I did, stripes could be added across the bib to tie the two sections together.  There was enough material to make three stripes.  Sounded just right to me.  I also needed a way to adjust the tie around the neck.

Next step:  Call in the expert.  My mother took my vision and added her skills.  That’s teamwork! Thanks, Mama.  I’m pleased with the outcome.

Apron--Before. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Apron–Before. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

After--Apron. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Apron–After. Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

 

 

This is pretty much how I approach my writing.  I get a story idea–the before.  I write it, get it critiqued, revise and I may even try to sell it.  If I am not successful, I usually decide to let the story rest.  Time to write some new stories, I think.  But every once in a while, something reminds me to pull an old story back out for a remodel.  And guess what?  The one that’s calling me now is about aprons.  Imagine that! I’m thinking on how to modify it.   I’m hoping I’m not still tied to the story’s apron strings.  For explanation of this expression see here:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/apron-strings

After I revise the apron story, I’ll call in “experts.”  My critique partners.  I’m thankful for them.  And after making additional changes, I’ll shop my story.  Finding just the right buyer will be my apron celebration story!

Writing Prompt:  Have you ever been tied to someone or something’s apron strings?  Who helps move your projects from before to after? Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  I look forward to your comments.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Careers, crafts, Critiquing writing, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Sewing, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Revising–Obvious Needed Changes and Ones Not So Obvious

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 28, 2015


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.

“Revising–Obvious Needed Changes and Ones Not So Obvious” by Linda Martin Andersen

When a motel near my home changed ownership, their sign reflected the change.  But it’s obvious to me it’s time for yet another change.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

Sometimes, the need for story revisions are just this obvious, but not always.  In my current work-in-progress, I have written numerous versions of the story.  I feel especially good about this one.  Does that mean it’s done?  Not quite.  Recently, a critique partner suggested introducing a group of characters earlier in the story.  Since they play a key role, she thought they should appear sooner.  I definitely agree.  Was this an easy task?  Definitely not, but I think it improved the story.  Was it an obvious need?  Obviously not.  Many others had critiqued this manuscript for me and never mentioned it.

From now on, as I critique my own work, I’ll ask myself what are some obvious needed changes as well as ones not so obvious?

Thanks for the inspiration nearby motel.  Thanks even more for all my critique partners!  Happy writing, everyone.

I look forward to your comments.  Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them. 

For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Critiquing writing, Homeschool Activities, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

 
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