Seven Reasons to Have Pet Snails

One of my favorite books for teaching writing is the classic If You’re Trying to Teach Kids How to Write, You’ve Gotta Have This Book! by Marjorie Frank.

if you're trying

It’s a quirky little book. The copy I own was bought used at a sale several years ago, and all of the pages are hand drawn. What I love about this book is that it offers hundreds of different ideas in many categories for helping kids learn how to write creatively. It also teaches the progression of writing, from thinking up ideas, to telling stories, to writing first drafts, to revising and editing, to writing a final draft and then to presenting your finished work. The book offers exercises for each step to make it easy and fun. I’ve been using the book for the past two years, and always enjoy it.

Today, we did an exercise called Six Reasons. Because the kids are both so fond of their pet snails, they each wrote six reasons for snails. In case you are considering owning a pet garden snail, here are some reasons you might consider:

By the boy, age 10, who came up with seven reasons (plus parentheticals):

  1. They eat rotting food (trash disposal)
  2. They are cute (that’s all I need to say)
  3. They don’t need too much (easy to care for)
  4. They are slow (easy to catch)
  5. They are both boys and girls (any two will lay eggs)
  6. They lay hundreds of eggs (lots of babies)
  7. They are better off with you (if you’re nice to them)

The girl enjoyed drawing illustrations with her list:

2014-09-10 12.57.44

How cute is that little guy? He looks like he has a little mustache. The girl was quick to point out that those are a second set of what appear to be eyestalks (maybe they are whiskers).

What do you use for your writing curriculum? Do you do creative writing exercises?


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