When you think of writing exercises for children you don’t really expect them to be moving around, looking and things or manipulating them. But, Rip All the Pages- 52 Tear-out Adventures for Creative Writers by Karen Benke does not recommend the usual stuff. Yes, it is a book that has creative writing exercises for children. But, what these lead to is another exciting adventure.
The physicality of the reader’s interaction with this book is something that really stands out. As you navigate the book, you rip a page, deal with it and then move on to the other. There is also a sensory aspect to the activities mentioned. For example, one of the activities is ‘detonate a memory with flammable words- I remember’. Such activities add a sensory dimension to the act of writing.
Each page has a specific writing exercise. Words of encouragement are woven very neatly into the exercise. This is helpful and motivating to the writer.
There is a ‘call to action’ after most of the writing activities. Many ideas are given on how the writer can display the work…..and quite a few of these are out-of-the-box ideas. For example, in one activity, the child is required to write down sentences on how people can be kind. Then, they need to tear these into little chits and ‘leave a trail of kindnesses. In another, the child has to talk a walk and write in the intermittent pauses. Yet another involves nibbling a snack while writing and taking binoculars and writing from a different perspective. Activities such as these make writing a pleasure, and they also make writing purposeful. Needless to say, they make writing an element of fun.
The writing exercises in the book call for shorter pieces of writing that include slogans, poems, free associative writing, writing words, writing with colour, writing about deep feelings, concocting words and phrases by just bringing them together randomly and so on.
Rip all the pages is a great book to use for:
- Introducing a fun and zesty element to writing.
- Approaching writing beyond the typical long form exercises
- Having a sensorial approach to writing.
- Enhancing observation skills and encourage out-of-the-box thinking.
- Beginners or children who are wary of writing, and for reluctant writers. It will infuse energy and change in attitude.
And as you ago about the journey of implementing these writing exercises for children, it helps to keep the author’s parting advice in mind, “Keep your heart brave and your mind curious”!
If you are interested in creative writing for children, you may also like to read this: https://www.bookedforlife.in/books-and-ideas/writing-is-fun-and-yes-we-mean-it-a-new-writing-activity-book-by-jeanne-perrett-brings-a-dose-of-fun-to-creative-writing-for-kids/
Author: Karen Benke
Publisher: Roost books
Genre: Children/ Activity
Age group: 6-12