Sorry for another non-Canadian resource this week, but this one starts soon and is very exciting! National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) starts on Nov.1! There are 2 main streams for this great idea – one for adults which challenges it’s participants to write a 50,000 word novel from scratch within the 30 day deadline, and the other is for children.
The Young Writers Program is divided into 4 main groups: elementary (K-2), upper elementary (3-5) , middle, and high school. They have a FANTASTIC website – which is not only visually appealing and fun, but extremly informative. There are “100% awesome, NON-LAME workbooks” for each age group as well that really explain the process, get the creative juices going and more. These workbooks on their own are a completely thorough learning process which helps kids understand the work and ideas involved in writing a novel.
The YWP allows each participant to set their own word goal – unlike the adult one of 50,000.
Each young participant will get pep talks from various accomplished writers over the course of the challenge to keep them encouraged and excited. They can also access a forum to ask their questions and encourage each other along the way.
Best of all – there is a complete teaching component too. The Educators’ tab of the website is full of information – including lesson plans which seem to follow along with the workbooks, a teacher’s lounge and lots of additional resources (including discounted partner companies like proofreaders for those who complete the challenge).
For a larger group of homeschoolers, there’s also a Classroom Novelling Kit – which is apparently available free to groups of 5 or more or available to purchase if you need more or are smaller than that. There’s also a Virtual Classroom component, which is a ” web interface designed to allow educators to better facilitate NaNoWriMo with their students. Through the Virtual Classroom, educators can post important announcements, dates, and links; lead discussions in a dedicated forum section; send NaNoMail to students; and most importantly, easily check the progress of an entire class.”
This program is a great way to help the young minds develop their writing skills and creative thinking. And besides, who knows that exciting things can happen because their participated – maybe you will have a budding author!