|Have you ever sat and watch a child struggle with a blank page? Have you ever wondered why some children just seem to detest anything to do with writing? Have you seem them just give up in frustration and walk away angry and distraught? Well you are not alone. Every one possesses the capability to write stories, plays, poems or journal writings. There is something that belongs to you and nobody else – something that you can always keep a secret. There is something so special that it is priceless, and yet it costs you nothing. This is something that can never be taken away from you, but is yours to share with as many people as you choose. This is something you can keep for a lifetime and use anytime. Do you know what it is? Do you give up? This is your imagination. |
Poets and artisans of ancient Greece attributed their inspiration to playful whispers from Muses. Eventually, they recognized the mystic murmurings to be their own imaginations. Einstein claimed that imagination was more important than knowledge. Knowledge was limited, he said, whereas imagination could “embrace the entire world stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
As co-author of a literacy program in Ontario, ‘The Muse Program’ Debbie has had a unique opportunity to observe children at work and see the methods that work best. The hesitation comes for some as they sit facing a blank page. Even with a vivid imagination, without the tools to utilize it, it becomes a stumbling block for many children.
Debbie has peppered her books with practical questions easily understood by children of any background. Their answers to those leading questions will provide a strong basis for a story. There is a broad comfort zone, because she leads them through familiar territory so that they can write about what they know best.
Using techniques she has developed with her own children to stretch their imaginations and her artistic background, she is able to conjure up images in their minds that are more easily transformed into words on that intimidating blank page.
The first in the series, ‘Short Stories with Imagination’ is designed to encourage the use of imagination and to help foster a child’s self-image, opening up a whole new world to explore. Based on real-life childhood memories, these stories promote the idea that anything is possible. With a little help from our imaginations, an ordinary day can become one filled with adventure – sailing with pirates, running a race, or experiencing the thrill of a plane ride for the first time.
‘Storybuilding with Imagination’, the second in the Imagination Series, uses the proven techniques Debbie has developed and helps walk the child through the general principals of story writing. Following her lead helps the child untangle the confusing trail of mazes, and feel the pride of a job well done. ‘Storybuilding with Imagination’ is written simply, visually and interactively, so that children can follow along, regardless of reading and writing capabilities.
Kid’s Writing Place could be called an Internet learning room where children are mused and/or become the muse to others, helping to spark children’s imaginations and promote writing skills. Encouraging the use of imagination helps a child build strength and courage, thus fostering a child’s self-image. At Kid’s Writing Place, children that are intimidated by that blank page can come and get story beginning ideas, or those that are full of ideas but just can’t seem to finish the ending can get help with their ideas. Those that are well on their way to becoming the next generation of authors can have their work read and critiqued by others. This not only enhances skill improvement but promotes interaction between others.
The goals of Kid’s Writing Place are to Foster Literacy through the Imagination. This is achieved through the interaction, cooperation and brainstorming of the children working together and learning how to build on their ideas. This on-line forum was inspired by a writer’s fascination with the ability to motivate the creative process within children using their imagination. Visit www.designsbydebbie.ca/kidswritingplace and join in the fun of letting your own imagination soar and be amazed at the places that it can take you.
“The kids of today are our future,’ says Designs by Debbie founder, “I believe that we are all capable of helping to improve our children’s futures, starting with their own imaginations.”
About the Author
Debbie Long is a writer/illustrator and founding member of 'The Muse Program', a literacy program for children. She has currently published her first children's book, in the Imagination Series, 'Short Stories with Imagination. The second is due to be released July 2005. For more details visit http://www.designsbydebbe.ca
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