Writing is a very enjoyable past-time for me and many other people around the world. I enjoy writing because I get to express my opinions, feelings, and emotions in print to read over and over again. Writing is not only about learning to write letters properly and have correct grammar, but also to make ideas flow coherently to where others can read, understand, and enjoy what has been written. Children are taught all through school how to write and express their feelings. Earning the Write Away Try-It in second or third grade for Brownie Girl Scouts helps girls enjoy writing even more. With this Try-It, they do not have to write what the teacher says for a grade. They can express whatever they want to and have fun with it.
To earn the Write Away Try-It, girls must complete four activities. This can easily be done individually but if you can get the whole troop together and do some fun writing activities, it makes it very interesting for the girls. The following activities are based on earning the Try-It as a troop. If girls wish to do this individually, they can enjoy several writing activities like writing an autobiography, journal writing, writing a letter to someone special, or writing a book report on their favorite book. For troop writing activities, you might need to break this into several meetings depending on the length of your meeting times. Sometimes, we all need to think before we start writing so they might need more thinking time for each of the activities.
Group Secret Story
Begin by writing an introduction to a story on a piece of paper. Remember the age of the girls when you do this so they are able to read all of the words. With the girls sitting in a large circle, hand the paper to one of the girls. She should read silently the introduction and add her own sentence on her own piece of paper. This sentence should be something that would happen next in the story. This girl will show her paper to the girl beside her and from her sentence only, the next girl must write a sentence that may go in sequence to the previous sentence. And so it continues with each girl writing a sentence based ONLY on the previous sentence as their idea to the story. You want to make sure they are creating a continuing story and not just writing descriptors. When it is the last girl’s turn, she must make an ending sentence to the story. Then, you will read your introduction and each girl will consecutively read their paper in order to complete the story. If you have a small group or a lot of time, girls can write more than once sentence on their turn.
This is a great way to get the girls to laugh and have some fun reading and writing!
You can conduct interviews in a couple of different ways. If you have an even number of girls, let them interview each other. Have them make a list of 4-5 questions to ask another girl. Since they are all about the same age and grade in school, they should not ask questions regarding these types of things. They should record the answers down on their paper as a reporter would do. If they have time, they can take what they learned from their questions and write a little piece about that person to share with the group. They can also take it home to do this or even just tell the answers to the group at the end.
Another fun thing to do with interviews (especially if you have an odd number of girls) is to have them interview you. Again, they can make up 4-5 questions they want to ask you and then each girl can take a turn asking different questions. Of course, some of the questions may be similar so they all should pay attention and write down the responses to all questions and come up with a little article on their leader. This is fun for them to learn things about their leader.
Write an introduction to a story on a large poster board or type one on a piece of paper and make copies for each girl. Give the girls a specific time and have them write what happens in the story. At the end of the time, each girl can share her story. This is fun to see the different endings to the same story beginning. Explain to them that their different backgrounds and experiences helped them think about their story and that is why they are all different.
Write for Families
This is a good activity to do around a holiday time. Have the girls write a letter or poem to their parents, siblings, grandparents, or anyone else in their family. If it is Thanksgiving time, they can write about things they are thankful for. If it is Valentine’s Day, they can write a love poem to their parents. Whatever holiday time or occasion, you can decide what they should write about. Once they are finished, they can decorate a card and place the written piece inside the card for a gift to that special person.
As a take home activity, have the girls make up an autobiography of themselves. You can create a starter template with sentences on them about their age, hometown, pets, siblings, etc. Then they just have to finish the sentences with the information. If you have time in a meeting, they can do this during the meeting and maybe decorate a poster with this information.
These activities should increase the girls’ confidence in their writing (and reading) skills. There are 5 listed, but only 4 is the requirement so pick and choose for your troop. Remember the girls’ ages and skill levels in determining the time for each activity. This should be fun for them not embarrassing, so be sure to help them along the way.