For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing as one of the components of literacy. This morning over at Booklights, I have a post that focuses on writing as part of literacy. Dear Santa … is a personal story about how letters from Santa are helping us raise a writer.
While Catherine has always loved reading, when it comes to writing, she protests at the mere mention of the word! This year, even the lure of Christmas wasn’t enough. She kept telling us that she wanted Santa to “surprise her,” so she didn’t need to write anything. [Oh, that wily brain of hers!]
I wasn’t sure why she was still reluctant, though, because she regularly comes home from school with cute little notes that her friends write her, and she rushes through homework to write back. There is a part of me that doesn’t want her writing notes in school, but these conversations (what movie do you like?) are important to her … and they keep her writing!!
So, with time running out on the chance of her list reaching the North Pole and one last plea from Mom and Dad, Catherine composed her letter. She wanted to have some fancy paper, so I went to Smilebox, a website that lets you create virtual photo albums, scrapbooks, postcards, and collages for free.** There are hundreds of templates that you can select from … including a letter to Santa!
Pick the template, paste in the photos from your computer on the pre-formatted page, then write your note in the text box. She was hooked! She spent an hour playing and arranging the photos and then describing them to tell Santa what she’s been up to this year.
Now, because she had “paper” in front of her, she decided that there actually are a couple of things she wants from Santa. Ironically, she felt as though she needed to fill in the complete text box (read: full screen), so she kept adding items to her wish list.
As I mentioned in my Booklights post, one of my personal goals for next year is to spend more time writing with and for Catherine. While she continues to rail against writing “bigger” things, she is comfortable writing letters. So I will meet her where she is and then grow from there.
NOTE: The Reading Tub has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. The bookcover image links to their website. If you make a purchase, we may receive income from the sale.
**There is a paid version of Smilebox, too, if you want to pick your own music, burn to CD, etc. You can sign up for a 14-day trial, burn or print what you create in that time frame, and then decide if you want to continue.