STEP 1 - THE ANSWER TO CREATIVE WRITING STUDIES FOR AGES 5-6, AND FOR PRELITERATE STUDENTS!
WHAT IS STEP 1 CREATIVE WRITING?
STEP 1 Creative Writing is a two year study of language skills and of how to develop ideas and stories, for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students who either do not read at all, or who read very little.
HOW DOES STEP 1 CREATIVE WRITING WORK?
Like all STEP 1 courses, STEP 1 Creative Writing courses are like “scripts”, used by the teacher. Like all STEPS studies, STEP 1 courses are broken into daily lesson plans. Each lesson plan is made up of small things to be done, in sequence. The teacher/parent uses each lesson plan like a script, doing what the lesson plan asks. Sometimes, the parent is asked to read to the student. What is read is right there in the lesson plan, no guess work, “writing” by the teacher, or hunting for materials needed. Much of the teaching at this level is done this way. Sometimes, the teacher is requested to show students some art work, video, or photography – all found in sequence, in the lesson plan. And in every lesson plan, the student uses what has been taught and does things, sometimes in the form of games, but there are always activities. There are 4 Step 1 Creative Writing courses, 1 per semester, and they are intended to be completed over a two year period.
As these are writing courses, and we’re dealing with students who are not yet literate, at first the student creates stories verbally. These can be recorded, or written down/typed by the teacher. The courses lay out ways to work with preliteracy. The student works through four Step 1 Creative Writing courses, one per semester for two years, literacy develops, and students are gradually encouraged to write down or type their own work.
MY 5-6 YEAR OLD IS GOING TO LEARN CREATIVE WRITING? REALLY?
Absolutely. Your 5-6 year-old’s imagination is probably accessible, powerful, fluid and unimpeded by adult considerations or concerns. Writers work first and foremost with ideas, and children have ideas – lots of them. These courses encourage each student to admire and appreciate their own ideas, and then to develop each idea into some sort of shape and form that may communicate to others. So Creative Writing at this level improves literacy, language skills, communication skills, and the development of story-telling skills.
WHAT SORT OF CREATIVE WRITING IS PRESENTED IN STEP 1?
At this young age, we want to avoid any critique of the child’s creativity. The idea is to promote creative thought and development, not hinder it. Information is provided involving basics of writing such as plotting and character development, but it’s all kept simple and rudimentary at this level. We want the student creating then creating some more, then creating some more, and sharing their creations with pleasure. This way, they will want to write.
A student is never too young to start to understand the power of words. who can speak is old enough to begin to effectively use language. That young person can start to express himself and shape his world. This is the actual task of our Starter Creative Writing Courses.
At this early stage of learning, the student does NOT work with sentence construction or any technical elements of language or writing (including spelling). Instead, through carefully devised exercises and lesson plans, the studenrt explores the way words shape our actions and understandings. Knowing that words can change things is often why writers write! These exercises are fun, and the "stories" or descriptions created by the student are dictated by the student, and written or typed by the teacher. (If your student is already able to write, they can certainly write down their exercises for themselves.)
Each course at this level consists of a semester worth of lesson plans at three per week, for about 18-19 weeks. Semester I, as an example, has 57 lesson plans, which are intended to be done one per day, three times per week.
CAN I PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL CREATIVE WRITING COURSES TO FILL NEEDS IN MY CHILD’S EDUCATION?
Yes. Each STEPS course is a free-standing, independent study. We do offer a limited number of Creative Writing/History electives for Step 1, based on holidays. They are fun, creative, and just challenging enough, as well as stand-alone. But the Step 1 Creative Writing Program should really be done in sequence. There are 4 courses in the Step 1 Creative Writing Program.
CAN I PURCHASE A SEMESTER WORTH OF CREATIVE WRITING?
Yes, since each course IS a semester of Creative Writing. You may also purchase a “bundle” on our site of the entire 2-year program. Bundles are the least expensive way to purchase STEPS courses.
HOW QUICKLY COULD I START USING STEPS 1 CREATIVE WRITING?
Start now. You can start STEPS at any time of the year, 24/7/365. Everything you need is pretty much included in the courses you will download, for STEP 1
HOW MUCH DO I, THE TEACHER OR PARENT, NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CREATIVE WRITING TO TEACH AT THIS LEVEL?
You (teacher/tutor/parent) do not need any expertise in subjects your student is studying, using STEPS. Not as a teacher, or in the subjects being taught. You do not need a degree, or experience as a teacher. Each course does the “teaching”. Just follow the lesson plans, and keep your eyes open for fun opportunities related to whatever the student is studying now. The course does the teaching.
A SUCCESS STORY FOR STEP 1 CREATIVE WRITING
My almost six year-olds love the Starter Creative Writing course. They started writing out sentences to go with their pictures instead of just words. They write short "stories" all day long on any scrap of paper they can. They still can't write their letters correctly and they are sounding out since spelling is still a long way off, but their creativity is just exploding! AD, Homeschool Mom