A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Gretchen Griffith’

Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 7, 2013

“Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

January 8-14 is Universal Letter Writing Week

Have you heard the chatter:  “Letter writing is a dying art,” some claim.  The number of letters mailed are on the decline and postal delivery may be reduced.  Saturday delivery could be eliminated.

At Christmas, a postal worker told me he had observed that only “little old ladies” were sending Christmas cards anymore.  Still, I won’t get discouraged because written communication does takes place, just in different places and in new formats.  Look for it.  It’s seen in blog posts, text messages, billboards, lunch boxes notes from Mom, church marques, cheers and jeers in newspapers, etc.  Where have you seen written messages?  Choose a day during Universal Letter Writing Week and keep a tally of written communication you see.  And remember to keep writing–a little, a lot, just write.

Recently, I read a letter written by Kelly Starling Lyons that was posted at ReaderKidZ, a blog site that reviews books written for children and spotlights authors.  Kelly chose a dynamic way to tell readers about her new book, Hope’s Gift.  After reading her letter, I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of  Hope’s Gift.

Hope's GiftFor description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Gift-Kelly-Starling-Lyons/dp/0399160019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338421&sr=8-1&keywords=hope%27s+gift

Read Kelly Starling Lyon’s letter to “Dear Readers” here:


Listed below are a few examples of writing done by kids and adults.  Find your category.  How many of the listed examples have you written?  What others can you add to the lists?

Kids Write…

  • Thank you notes
  • Letters of apology
  • Poems, stories, and reports
  • Greeting cards (hand-made or purchased)
  • Letters to Santa
  • Letters to an author (not bad to be up there with Santa and the Tooth Fairy)
  • Letters to the Tooth Fairy (Seen posted at my dentist’s office):

Tooth Fairy--final one

Adults Write…

  • Emails  to family and friends
  • Notes in their child’s lunch box
  • Letters to someone deployed or far away
  • Greeting cards
  • Blog posts
  • Book reviews
  • Thank you notes–I recently won a copy of Stake Out by Bonnie J. Doerr at Carol Baldwin’s Blog.  I have been fortunate enough to win many books by commenting on favorite blogs.  When I am a winner, I always send an email thank you and sometimes I send a thank you note in the mail. 

Product Details

For description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Stakeout-Bonnie-J-Doerr/dp/1616030070/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338950&sr=8-1&keywords=Bonnie+J.+Doerr

To learn more about Bonnie Doerr’s book, Stake Out, check Carol’s blog post here:  http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/  Carol ‘s blog features book reviews and giveaways.  Check it out.

Adult Writers/Authors Write…

  • Letters to an agent or editor
  • Query Letters
  • Outlines
  • Proposals to Publishing Company
  • Thank you notes
  • Newsletters
  • Poems, short stories, and novels
  • Blog posts, tweets, a Facebook comments, or other social media messages.
  • Authors inform contestants of winning a contest
  • Authors or other famous person answers fan mail
  • Book Reviews–I recently posted two on Amazon:

Book Review #1:  Lessons Learned:  The Story of Pilot Mountain School  by Gretchen Griffith

Product Details

To hear an excerpt from Lessons Learned, listen here:  http://www.southernwritersonline.com/take-five.html

For description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Learned-Story-Mountain-School/dp/0914875647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357329446&sr=8-1&keywords=Lessons+Learned+by+Gretchen+Griffith

5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School by Gretchen Griffith, November 26, 2012
This review is from: Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School (Paperback)

Gretchen Griffith describes herself as a storycatcher. Her ability to capture the Pilot Mountain School stories and their underlying lessons goes beyond storycatching. She records more than mere words. Griffith’s text weaves the voice and heart of the people in such a way that readers connect, whether they grew up in that area or thousands of miles away. Lessons Learned tells the story of Pilot Mountain School, constructed in 1942, and how it became the hub of the community. Even though its doors eventually closed to rural school children, the lessons learned there were not forgotten. Today, the building serves as a gathering place for shopping and dining, as well as a center for a community outreach program. Pilot Mountain School continues to radiate lessons. Lessons Learned is recommended to all who love history and creative approaches to restoration of buildings.

Book Review #2:  Flip Flap Floodle by Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle cover 300x421 300 res

5.0 out of 5 stars School Counselor’s Review of Flip Flap Floodle by Joan Y. Edwards, January 4, 2013
This review is from: Flip Flap Floodle (Paperback)

When I was a School Counselor, I often used literature to illustrate good character traits and making good decisions. I shared Flip Flap Floodle with a 1st grade class. We had been talking about asking trusted adults for help when needed. This book fit right in with our study. After reading, the students created thank you cards to give an adult who had helped them. One of the children said that the author should get a thank you card for her book about helping others. I agreed.

Let’s talk:  What do you think about letter writing in 2013?  Does it make you sad that there are less handwritten letters?  Do you enjoy corresponding by email?  What are your thoughts? Please enter them in the comment section.

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

Coming soon:  A guest blog by Joyce Hostetter, children’s book author.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

A Blogger Award for A Writer’s Playground?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on September 5, 2012

“A Blogger Award For ‘A Writer’s Playground?'” by Linda Martin Andersen

YES!  A blogger award and here it is…


 “A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly   calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

 *Applause!  How could this be?

Last night I got a surprise as unexpected as seeing a life-sized cow dressed in an Airborne uniform with a parachute over its head.  (See post on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012)  I  got a blogger award.  It’s called the Liebster Award.  Thank you very much, Jean Matthew Hall, for recognizing me with this award.  Check out her blog called “Encouraging Words for Writers” at http://www.jeanmatthewhallwords.blogspot.com/

Now, it’s my turn to recognize some fellow blogger friends.  As some of you may have noticed, I listed a few blogs on my home page that I think kids, parents, and teachers would enjoy.  Here are five of the ones from my blogroll that I’d like present with the Liebster Award.


1. Carol Baldwin at www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com (reviews middle grade novels and posts writing tips from classes she teaches.  She has a published writing guide available.  Check her site)

2. Joyce Hostetter at www.joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com (reviews middle grade novels, tells about her writing journey and author visits where she discusses her published historical novels.  Check her site for details.)

3.Gretchen Griffith at www.gretchengriffith.blogspot.com (debut author of Lessons Learned who posts stories from school days from 1940s-1960s at Pilot Mountain School in rural North Carolina.  Gretchen has a picture book under contact for publication.  Check her site for details)

4.Joy Acey at www.joyacey.blogspot.com (posts a poem daily and encourages kids to write poems too.  Two of Joy’s poems were recently published in an anthology.  Check her site for details.)

5. Joan Edwards at www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com  (encourages her readers to never give up.  She’s a published author/illustrator of a picture book about a duck who never gives up.  She has an elder care guide under contract for publication.  Check her site for details.)

*Applause!  Now, I’d like to ask these bloggers to please pass the LIEBSTER AWARD to other bloggers. Please note that more than one version of the rules is posted on the internet.  This version contains less rules:

1.  Thank your Liebster Award presenter and link back to his/her blog.

2. Copy and paste the Liebster Award onto your blog.

3.  Present the award to 5 more bloggers with fewer than 200 (300-some sources).

4.  Notify bloggers of their award.  Have fun!

What an honor to be included in this recognition.  I hope those who receive this award as just as delighted as I was.

Thank you for joining us at “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Next up:  Meet Laura Reeves, an art teacher who encourages creativity–

September 10, 2012


Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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