Junior Writers: Imagination and Mood

Third week of the Junior Writers program and it’s starting to kick off. This week, we discussed imagination and mood.

Warm Up

When you’re writing a dialogue with characters, you want to be expressive and descriptive. You want your reader to imagine what your character is doing. One way of doing that is trying to replace “said” in your written work. When you’re editing your final draft, circle all the “said” and try to replace it with a different word.

On the easel, I wrote down three different dialogues. The kids then found other ways to express the characters emotions instead of using “said.”  For example:

1. “Wait! You forgot your book” said Mr. Applebottom

-cried, yelled, screamed

I then gave them a chart on how you can show emotions and feelings through characters.  For example, if your character has tripped over his shoelace – he will feel embarrassed.

How can we show “embarrassed”?

  • blushing or turning red
  • hanging head low
  • holding back tears
  • rolling eyes
  • stomach flips
  • hiding face
Use this chart to help you write and describe your character's emotions.

Use this chart to help you write and describe your character’s emotions.

Group Activity and Writing Activity

We then came up with emotions that a character could feel. We then wrote an example of what makes you feel that way. For example: Angry. I feel angry when I see someone littering!

For our writing activity, we had to write a letter saying that we’re sorry. They could decide what they have done, and who they are apologizing to. They could also decide whether it was a good apology or if they don’t really mean it and just want to get out of trouble.

Junior Writers: Imagination and Setting

Second week of Junior Writers and we’re talking about setting.

Warm Up

Setting has three different components: place, time, and environment. I brought out the easel again and we brainstormed examples of place, time, and environment. Some examples include:

Place: castle, city, town, province, country, farm, coffee shop

Time: Afternoon, evening, daylight, nighttime, past, colonial times, future

Environment: darkness, lightness, hot, cold, temperature, sunny, rainy

Sharing Activity

Using discarded magazines, I cut out pictures that could be used as a setting. The children then chose a picture, glued it on a piece of paper and then wrote what the place, time, and environment of their setting. This allowed the children to start using their imaginations and write.

Writing Activity

In their notebooks, the kids were asked to draw a picture of their favourite place. This could have been somewhere they liked to go, or a place that they have never been, but loved to visit.

After, they were asked to describe the place in words by using the picture to help them.

I try to do the activities with the kids. This was my interpretation of the activity.

Draw and Write: Your favourite place

Draw and Write: Your favourite place



Junior Writers – Imagination and Characters

The Junior Writers program kicked off on September 10th and I couldn’t be more pleased with the program thus far. My library promoted this program for their “Back to School” lineup.

If you’re going to run this program – MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR SELF PLENTY OF TIME. The exercises took me FOREVER to come up with. With our busy, busy, busy summer – I found myself working a lot from home to get the booklet completed. Each person who attends the Junior Writers program gets a booklet and an activity guide

Program Outline

Introductions: I made the kids go around in a circle and tell me what they like most about writing. This was a great ice breaker – but the kids were SO SHY.

Lesson: I took out the giant easel pad. I asked the question: “What do you need to write a story?”  I gave the kids markers and away they went. Some of their responses were as follows:

  • Imagination
  • Plot
  • Events
  • Illustrations
  • Characters

Group Activity – Character Development

Their first task as a Junior Writer was to imagine a character who lives far, far, far away. I asked them to fill out some information about the character. What is your character’s name? Where does your character live? How old are they? How did you meet them? Is there anything else we need to know about your character?

After everyone completed the task, I asked them to describe their character in a group.

Writing Activity – A New Pen Pal

Their solo writing activity was to write a letter to their character!