|Joe Burkhart reading The Giving Meadow|
By: Stephanie Burkhart
I volunteer in my son's classroom every other week. He's in 1st grade now. The experience is especially rewarding because I love watching my son interact and grow with his classmates.
The children enjoy having books read to them. Their eyes really light up when its reading time.
After reading my story to them this past week, my son's teacher began asking questions. It was a nice reminder to me, as a writer, how important it is to keep it easy for kids. Most five-year-olds appreciate how you, the author, put story elements together and the proof is in their smiles. Some elements to keep in mind:
The setting should be something the kids can relate to – a house, backyard, forest, lake, or beach.
Characters should be easy to relate to. For example: Mom, Dad, a dog, a cat, or bugs. What makes them easy to relate to? Heartwarming qualities such as kindness, sharing, and giving. Characters should embody emotions children see everyday.
The kids in my son's class had a harder time indentifying the problem of the story when the teacher asked, but when she stated what it was, a lot of them said, "Oh, yeah!" The problem should be one the kids can understand. For example, frustration or loneliness.
The solution has to be something they can identify with. Examples include an act of kindness, sharing a toy, or even a smile.
Being a children's writer can be challenging, but hanging around children, reading to them, and even watching a children's show with them can help to give you the perspective needed to craft a special story they can relate to.
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD. She enjoys working with children at her church. Her books with 4RV Publishing include The Giving Meadow and First Flag of New Hampshire.
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