Creative writers are usually knowledgeable
about their subjects, even if the story is fictional. Describing characters
realistically adds to the reality of the book. Writers must convince a reader
that the characters are real, even in fantasy. Dr. Seuss, a well known writer
of Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Lorax, and hundreds of
other books was able to make fictional animal characters relay a story with a
societal meeting. For instance, in the Lorax, Dr. Seuss creates a fictional
land and talks about its destruction by harvesting all of its natural
resources. The message is environmental, without Dr. Seuss even mentioning the
environmental problems on our Earth caused by humans.
Many authors must have a
knowledge of their subject before they can write an interesting story. This
exercise is for students to look at some science children's books and see if
they can create a book of their own. Notice that most books have a writer and
an illustrator. You may want students to team up to create a book.
Also you might want to
set up teams of students to produce one book. Students get the wrong idea when
they see a book by one author. They sometimes don't realize that writers must
research even the "easiest" book. The craft of writing is similar to
science in that you must logical think of how the plot will progress.
You may want to use the
worksheet to try and get students to visualize a story. The worksheet can help
guide students to think of how to develop a plot.
Then use the character
worksheet to help students who cannot draw, to pick a picture and write a
story around that picture. For example the turtle with a soccer ball as a
shell could be a story about how the turtle helped his team win a soccer
match. But then he realized that this was cheating and had to confess and make
the game go to the real winners. Just something silly, but enough to get the
students to think about creating a story.