The Natural Stages of Growth in Writing: Holiday Edition!

The Natural Stages of Growth in Writing: Holiday Edition

After completing the five part series about the Natural Stages of Growth in Writing, I thought it might be nice to see how you can apply those insights to writing through the coming holidays! This is a repost of one I did a couple of years ago. Enjoy! (Photo is from our Solstice Celebration last year.)

This is a great season to capitalize on natural writing opportunities (rather than relying on contrived assignments). I’ve included some of the most obvious ideas along with ones you may not have thought of! I’ve also organized them to fit with the Natural Stages of Growth in writing (taken from Chapter 14 of The Writer’s Jungle). You can listen to podcasts about each stage too!

Jot it Down (kids who can handwrite and/or copy writing):

  • caption photos in a family holiday letter
  • write out tags for wrapped gifts
  • create placecards for your holiday meal
  • write gift wish lists
  • address envelopes for holiday cards

Partnership Writing (you help with transcription):

  • all of the above in “Jot it Down” works well with Partnership phase too
  • retell and write a short description of the year’s biggest highlight for family letter
  • copying lyrics from Christmas hymns or other holiday music
  • writing a list of holiday traditions to remember
  • putting holiday events on a posted family calendar
  • thank you notes for gifts received

Faltering Ownership (kids who are writing, but are still not high school level):

  • interview family members for holiday letter
  • write your own memories of the year and send in holiday letter
  • journal about each holiday event and bind in a little notebook at the end of holiday season
  • plan and execute a New Year’s party (including invitations, games, food to purchase)
  • copy holiday cookie recipes onto notecards, make cookies

Transition to Ownership/Great Conversation (junior/high school level):

  • take control of the family holiday letter (interview family members, organize and execute)
  • take photos of the holiday season, caption and scrapbook as the month goes along
  • keep a notebook of quotable quotes from the family over the month
  • write a meaningful description of what the holiday means to you personally and share on holiday
  • reflect on a significant piece of reflective literature by freewriting or journaling about it

4 Responses to “The Natural Stages of Growth in Writing: Holiday Edition!”

  1. Domanicka says:

    What is a holiday letter? Sounds interesting and fun to do but I have never heard of it.

  2. Julie Bogart says:

    To me, a holiday letter is the one of those year-end letters that families send to their loved ones detailing the events and milestones of the previous year. Often photos accompany them. So if you want to create a nice writing opportunity for your kids, encourage them to help write it! They can each write a paragraph about their previous year, picking the details they think would be interesting to share.

    I hope that helps!


  3. Domanicka says:

    Thanks that helps. I will have to keep that in mind for next year.

  4. Laurie says:

    Thanks for the reminder. We already do (or have done) a lot of these things, but I sometimes forget that it all “counts”. Now I can relax a bit on the school expectations and enjoy the holidays!