Counting Your Words

For a fun way to engage children in writing, try giving prompts for stories that must be one hundred words exactly–not a word over and not a word under. Give them three unrelated words or phrases. For example, “rusty,” “avocado,” and “pink sweater.” They must write a story using all three of the prompt terms in exactly one hundred words.

I’m a wordy writing, so when I began participating in a 100 Word challenge on Gather I didn’t have high hopes. It didn’t even sound like much fun. Boy, was I wrong. It turned out to be one of the best writing excercises I’ve ever used. You actually can get across a story in 100 words, but you must be very choosy about the words you use. You have to convey a lot of meaning using not so many words.

This exercise is a great way for your child to develop their ability to choose the best and most precise words for a piece of writing.

Here are a few more three-term prompts.

“lily,” “medicine,” and “fox”
“strange,” “boat,” and “three”
“popcorn,” “sweater,” and “fake”


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