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Featured Game: 'Put Away Worn Out' Words... or be assessed a small penalty

Spotlight On: Writing (Content and Organization)

Materials:
Writing 'stuff' -- notebook, pencils or pens
Play money

Part 1 (Content/elaboration)
Have a conversation in writing (no talking).  The same notebook can be passed back and forth between child and adult. 

Ask child a question: "How was your week at school?" 

Continue to ask questions until child responds with desired level of elaboration/detail -- i.e. if the child says, awesome, ask him what made it awesome.

Part 2 (Word Choice)

Child may be 'paid' in play money for colorful or precise word choices.  He can also be 'charged' for overused or vague words nice, cool. (Do let him know at the onset of the game what words he needs to avoid!) 

Adult can also play with vocabulary in his writings: "Whoops, you wrote fun.  You will be assessed a small penalty... a mere $50. 

Extensions

It's important to tie the activity to its purpose. Periodically, the child may be asked to use the exercise as prewriting for a paragraph -- or the adult can model it for the child, writing a paragraph based on his responses, and observing how the details make the writing more vivid.

Some children are motivated by the novelty -- they may think it's funny to fork over large bills for using the word 'fun'.  Others may like to chart their 'earnings' and aim for some predertimed goal.  The bills may also be redeemed for a preferred activity or something from the prize bucket (gel pens etc.)

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