A good imagination
A favourite classic children’s tale
The objective is to encourage creative thinking by rewriting an old favourite as a screenplay. This allows the child to develop visualisation powers as well as to practise writing skills.
Explain to the child what the purpose of a screenplay is. Tell him how books and stories are adapted for plays and movies. You can even show him an example of a book he has read, say Bambi, which has been made as movie. Ask him to read this book again and watch the movie with him. Point out how the book has been incorporated into the movie.
Choose a favourite classic children’s tale, such as Cinderella, for which he will like to write a screenplay for.
Write out the list of characters – making a distinction between the main ones and those who appear only once or twice.
Then list the places visited in the story.
Divide the story into 3-4 acts based on natural story transitions (eg The story upto the time Cinderella’s family leaves for the ball could be act1, the entire sequence with the godmother could be act 2 , the Ball itself could be act 3 and the finally the search for Cindrella after she flees the ball would then be the last act).
Give descriptions of each place either based on descriptions in the story itself or based on your ideas of how the place looked. These will be the sets for the play or movie.
Convert the story events and descriptions into dialogue form. Base each character’s dialogues on their temperament (as described in the story) and their position in society (eg the Prince will use more grammatically correct English than the stepsisters, perhaps). Let your imagination run wild.
After the play is complete try and stage it!
This will not only encourage your child to write letters but also he will learn about new places through a new friend.
Cousins who live far away, penpal organisations , penpal websites are a good source for penpals.
Encourage your child to include details of his city or country when writing to his penpal. Hopefully, the penpal will return the favour and your child will get an insight into another country.
Do not use the letters written by your child as a spelling test. Let him write the way he wants, with mistakes and all. Correct him gently once he has finished.