Is your student bored with writing? Would you like a project that engages them but does not involve a lot of your time? Here’s a solution!

Create a Kingdom

Creative writing project for students age 10-13 (grades 5-8)

At the end of one semester, your student could be the author of a fully developed book! By following the step-by-step lessons, your student will write a fantasy adventure story with five chapters.

The goals of this writing program are:

  • To give students control over their writing and subject matter.
  • To engage student imagination.
  • To develop writing skills through a cohesive project rather than a series of unrelated writing assignments.
  • To teach revision and editing in the context of writing.

This writing program is designed to let your student work independently with check-ins for revising and editing. If you (or they) prefer more teacher direction, feel free to introduce lessons, expand on concepts, and participate in brainstorming.

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Resources

Table of contents

Sample pages

Parent guide

Common Core State Standards Alignment

Templates

  • Writing pages
  • Framed illustration pages
  • Outlines and storyboards

Coming soon!

Online course to accompany workbook. The course supports parents/teachers by introducing concepts (students can learn independently) and helps students learn both visually and auditorily. 

Check out the course intro video. Then sign the waiting list today!

 

Let me know when the Create a Kingdom course for middle school writers is available!

What age level is this suitable for?

This project is written at a sixth/seventh grade reading level. It is also suitable for fifth-graders who need a challenge and eighth-graders who do not have a lot of writing experience.

What materials do I need?

The curriculum is available as a workbook or as downloadable PDFs.

Writing assignments are not done in the workbook. Options include:
• reproducible work pages (available at the back of the workbook or online)
• a separate notebook
• looseleaf paper

Your student will also need colored pencils or pens (for revising and editing).
Illustrations are optional.

It would be convenient to own the books I reference in the project:

  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
What about grading?

This project does not have traditional writing, grammar, and punctuation exercises. Therefore, there are no assignments that must be graded. If your school (or state) requires grading, I recommend grading be done the minimum number of times (perhaps at the end of each unit) and be based on effort and response to directions (especially with regard to revisions). I am curious to know what works for you and if you believe this content can be improved in that regard.

Should my student write by hand or type?

This has been a battle with my own kids! I’m old school—I love pen and paper. However, my kids want to type their writing assignments. I have noticed that they get stuck in perfection when they type. They edit as they write rather than let their thoughts flow. This has resulted in a great deal of tension in the home as deadlines loom! My kids are also low-energy—why write by hand when you’re going to have to type the thing up anyway?

I still think I’m right, though a Google-search results in differing views on the topic. There seems to be support for my position in the correlation between handwriting and creativity. Therefore, because this is a creative writing project, I recommend your student handwrite their drafts, revisions, and edits. The final copy may be typed for better reader experience or to run through an editor such as Grammarly or Word.

What books are referenced?

I use quotes and examples from some of my favorite fantasy adventure books. Have your kids read the following books (or read to them!)—they will illustrate the variety in the genre and spark ideas in a wonderfully entertaining way.

  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  • The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Why do you use singular “they”?

Because the AP Stylebook says it’s okay—and because writing can be clunky otherwise—I have chosen to use the singular they in this workbook. Because your student—and your student’s characters—can be he/she/it and are unknown to me, I use the singular they to refer to any them.

For example:

Traditional: Your student should handwrite his or her draft.

Singular they: Your student should handwrite their draft.

Your student, however, should use the correct specific pronouns if they know the gender of the character to which they are referring.

Eric jumped onto his horse.

NOT Eric jumped onto their horse.

How do I share feedback?

I want this to be a fun and valuable experience for you and your student. All feedback
is welcome!

I would like to improve this curriculum by including samples of student work and seeing how students work through it. Please email the work (photo, jpeg, PDF, Word doc, any file type) or share via Dropbox, Messenger, or Google Drive. I would love copies of all drafts as well as the final version.