Category Archives: peaceful kids

Parenting 4 Literacy tips to help you encourage peaceful behaviors in your children of all ages…and in your home! You know how we are always telling kids to use their words to resolve conflicts. Babs has written and shares with you ways to do just that! To help your children…and YOU…to talk and act peacefully!

Why standing tall is plenty tall enough — at any height.

blue hand rotatedweights pic

Yes, it’s Wacky Wednesday! And I had planned to head in somewhat of a different direction for today’s post. But that was before this morning’s workout.

A new need presented itself. Prompting new thoughts. I guess that’s why I call this blogging day “Wacky Wednesday.” I just never know what’s going to happen in life experiences.

In truth,4 music notes pic nearly every life experience brings to mind a line of a poem or song I’ve penned, many on-the-spot during time spent with kids and their teachers and parents through the years. WOW! So, here’s what happened this morning.

Tall Paul pic

Tall Paul

This little ditty came singing into my head during my power walk. Here’s why.

My hand weights were growing ever-heavy. And I began to think how good it might feel to slouch a bit.

Then it occurred to me that what I needed right then was a little cheer-along song to keep me standing and walking tall.

Gotta pause here a moment to give a shout-out to my mother’s recent physical therapist, a young man we came to call “Tall Paul.” He works at Miller’s Merry Manor in Logansport IN.

WOW! Tall Paul’s continued influence on my mother’s stature (and height gain!) came to mind as I thought about my own need to stand tall.

So, here’s my brand-new cheer-along song titled “Standing Tall.” You and your child of any age (and any senior parents!) can sing it to the old familiar tune, “Are You Sleeping?”

Standing Tall
I am standing.
I am standing.musical notes dancing pic
Standing tall.
Standing tall.
Look how I am standing.
Look how I am standing.
I stand tall.
I stand tall.

Copyright © 2009 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz. First publication.

You know, treble clef sign picwith that song in my head, I had to come in, sweat and all, and type it quickly…before the need for another came singing along in this never-still head of mine!

You’ll want to sing this song (and take the words away to simply speak the words) often to recognize or encourage good posture in your child…and for your own standing-tall benefit! Oh, but stay tuned for still more kinds of benefits with this little song!

Yes! Let’s see how you can do more fun things with it, all the while modeling for your child how language belongs to a TALKer! WOW!

Did you ever stop to share with your child the fact that a TALKer often manipulates language to meet new needs as they arise? Just like the two of you likely do when you substitute brush our teeth or comb our hair or any number of other tasks in the little song, “This is the Way (We Wash Our Hands).”

Well, every time you call out your child’s attention to the fact that you can change the words, you are helping your child become a more powerful TALKer. And powerful TALKers become powerful readers and writers. It’s true! Research and experience tell us this fact every day.See how I am sitting tall!

Okay, look how you can model for your child powerful TALKing with the song, “Standing Tall.” WOW! Model for your child how you can substitute walking for standing in that song’s words and have a whole new song for a whole new purpose.

music notes picOr, as your positioning and activities change today, model how you substitute sitting or running for standing. Or substitute acting for standing to introduce a figure of speech “acting tall”…now you are modeling TALKing powerfully as you also prevent or manage behavior. WOW! You now have not just one, but five new songs to sing with your child…and to yourself as you go through your day.

A couple of notes to add as you and your child sing these songs today and every day. Be sure to sing the songs when you see your child (and yourself) using good posture or behavior! This way, you and your child are well on your ways toward building that feels-so-good habit of recognizing, accentuating, and celebrating the positive in yourselves!

Rest assured, there’ll always be a need to sing out this song and its variations to remind your child and yourself to stand, walk, sit, run, or act taller than one of you is displaying at the present time!

Now, before you go off singing with your child today, here’s another idea I want to offer in sharing “Standing Tall” song variations. Take notice, if you will, the absence of comparative and superlative adjectives in these songs.

What I mean here is that there are no words like better or bigger or tallest or smartest…you know, those kinds of adjectives that kids (and adults!) too often tend to say. So, why do I want you to notice this?

Well, because I (and each of us) really don’t need to be standing taller than someone else. Nor do I need to stand the tallest of all. I just nkeyboard laptop piceed to stand MY tallest. Tall Paul emphasized that daily to his many senior clients. Thank you, Paul!

Standing tall!

I'm being my own best!

Again, though I admit I did begin using some comparative and superlative words during my first lap of that ditty, I’d already fine-tuned it on my second lap, and had done a bit more editing by the time I reached this keyboard.

So, I share that extra thought with you…to encourage you to sing out today and every day. To encourage you––as the smart and wise person your child knows you to be––to model for your child the all-important goal of winning…by being one’s own best.

Tune in tomorrow on THINKing Thursday for some thoughts you and your child can THINK about together! Have fun today standing tall, walking tall, sitting tall, running tall, acting tall, and…well, just being your own tallest selves!


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It’s Free-for-All Friday w/Babs! WOW!

Hey, it’s Free-for-All Friday. (Sorry! I posted this last night, or so I thought. Guess it got delayed somewhere on the spinning globe of cyberpace.)

So let’s do a take-off today on one of those What if...ideas from yesterday’s discussion.

Okay. What if…what if there were peaceful people everywhere? WOW! What a peaceful thought! WOW! What a peaceful world we could have!

Peaceful People
What do peaceful people do?
They use kind words.
They’re honest, too.
They don’t begin to fight or shout.
They talk to work a problem out.
Instead of acting mean or mad,
They talk to say they’re feeling sad.
They look for ways to help someone.
They don’t hurt others with a gun.
I like what peaceful people do!
I’m learning to be peaceful, too!

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 1999, 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.

Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.

So, where does peace begin? Hmmm.

Regardless how one might answer that question, today’s Parenting 4 Literacy tip (for kids of all ages!) offers to you and your child some nutritious food…as in peacefully powerful words…for thought and TALK.

Yes! For kids of all ages! And today’s tip also builds on your child’s LISTENing skills. Those listening skills are critical for success in reading and writing…and for all of learning!

So here’s what you do…as one way to help peace live in your home! WOW!

Ask your child today…and every day…two questions:

  • Question #1: What kind words did you hear today?

Then listen to your child’s response.

A tip: It’s helpful with any age child to follow up with words like, “So you heard these peaceful words today: [words your child said]. WOW!”

Then go on to encourage your child to talk a bit about why those words felt peaceful to her/him. To do this, you might ask, “How did it feel to hear those words?”

I should mention here that your child may turn it around to pose to you that same question. WOW!

Or, depending on your child’s age and mood, it may take several days of your modeling before you’re put in the witness chair.

Either way, when this same conversation seems ripe for new input, go on to ask the second question.

  • Question #2: What kind words did you say today?

Again, you’ll want to listen carefully to your child’s response so you can follow up with words like, “WOW! So you said these peaceful words…[repeat the words your child said]. WOW!”

Peaceful Tip: That double “WOW!” there? It lets your child hear how happy you feel to hear that s/he spoke such peaceful words today.

Be at peace!Now ask, “How did it feel to say those peaceful words?”

Gosh, just look at all the productive conversation the two of you are having! WOW!

No more of those going-nowhere attempts to communicate with your school-age child, including your high schooler.

Yes, you’ll recognize this all-too-familiar parent-child Q&A:

“So what happened at school today?”

Yes! Productive conversation is now happening in your house. And guess what? You now have a definitive answer to my earlier question:

Stop! It's a garage sale!“So,” I asked you. “Where does peace begin?”

And now you know! WOW! Peace begins in your home!

And, with daily peaceful practice of this particular Parenting 4 Literacy tip, peace will not only live in your home; it will extend far beyond.

Yes! Peaceful words will be heard and spoken wherever you and your child are! WOW! Double WOW!

With repeated practice, extend this activity to ask your child…and yourself…how the other person might have felt when saying or hearing you say those peaceful words.

By the way…ff your child is not yet talking, you two can have this same powerfully-peaceful conversation!

I know you’ll recall my recent tip to ask and answer your questions. Your child is always LISTENing…and learning how language works!

Hey, tune in on Funday Monday for some garage sale fun! I hope to find time to check out a few garages in my neighborhood by then. Anyone else love shopping at garage sales?

I picked up that interest during my childhood. How about you? Click on the word comment below this post…and tell all!

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WOW! THINKing Thursday w/Babs!

There's the web...but where's the spider?It’s THINKing Thursday already. Time to THINK again. Good thing we only do this THINKing stuff once a week!!!

So, what if one of those spiders we saw on Monday’s post…well, what if that spider could talk?

I did some THINKing one day on that very question. And here’s one result from all that THINKing: “If the Spider Could Talk”

"If the Spider Could Talk" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (from Reading Realm's Poetic Play products)

"If the Spider Could Talk" by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz (from Reading Realm's Poetic Play products)

You know, your young or older child will enjoy this exercise in THINK-THINK-THINKing.

This kind of THINKing is one of the tools your child calls upon when asked to write.

Yes! Whether writing a piece of fiction or non-fiction, your child must begin to THINK of all the many angles from which to view the chosen topic.

And then choose one to write! WOW!

Ready to do a bit of THINK-THINK-THINKing aloud practice with your child? Yes, it’s called thinking aloud. And this thinking aloud activity is not only fun; it’s valuable practice for your child.

Okay. Let’s follow the model of my “If the Spider Could Talk” poem. Here we go!

What might a ceiling have to

What might a ceiling have to

Think about this: What if a ceiling could talk?

Would it be saying, “Hey! You down there! Can’t you be a little quieter. I’m not one of those acoustical types, you Poetic Play's "Spider" item (back). Available at Quiet down!

Or might that ceiling be begging to have people stop painting it? WOW! What other words might a ceiling want to say…IF it could talk?

Or what if a chair could talk?

Might your chair want to say, “Take it easy! That bottom of yours is awfully wiggly today. Could you just sit still! Goodness sakes! You’re liable to break me into pieces! Then we’d both be sprawled on the floor!”

Okay, how about one more what if to help you and your child get going in this kind of creative THINKing mode.

What if…what if…what if our planet Earth had nothing but peaceful people? See…there’s a powerful thought for your THINKing child of any age. And for you?

What would all those peaceful people have to talk about? Makes me think of some poems I’ve penned about peaceful people.

This one works with kids of all ages, especially if you add a What might it say...if it could talk?little attitude and rap it:

Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully Copyright © 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Who’s the Boss?

Who’s the boss
of my tongue
and my hands
and my feet?
Who’s the boss?
Who decides
how they’ll act
when we meet?

I’m the boss
of my tongue
and my hands
and my feet.
I’m the boss!
I decide
how they’ll act
when we meet!

Copyright © 1999 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

Your child will enjoy saying and dramatizing this poem with you. Try changing the pronoun in the first stanza from my to your as you ask each other the question.

For your child up to age 10 or 12, talk about why someone is the only boss of their own tongue or hands or feet. And what happens if the “boss” isn’t supervising properly?

Peaceful people everywhere!

Peaceful people everywhere!

On another day, invite your child to take turns with you to act out a kind or not-so-kind way a tongue, hands, or feet might act.

Tune in tomorrow for Free-for-All Friday. And do remember you can scroll down on any day’s post to access previous posts.

Or check out previous week’s posts in the “archive” to the right of the posts column.

And can click on the word comments at the bottom of any post to add your own or your child’s thoughts and comments. Or to ask questions.

Or to provide info, as Dena did on Tuesday to share those wild animals’ names. Or…

…just to say hello!

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WOW! It’s THINK-THINK-THINKing Thursday w/Babs!

"The Thinker" by Rodin is THINKing on my desk!WOW! Time to put on those THINKing caps. Might even want to adopt a pose like that of “The Thinker.”

I'm THINKing! I'm THINKing!Rodin’s (pronounced RO dan) statue is yet another visual stimulation I keep around me as I work.

You know…he keeps me THINKing!

And, as is often the case, today I’m in need of some help with my THINKing.

That is, I need some help to come up with the proper names of those real wild animals who came visiting at Lilac Elementary last Friday.

So, I’ve called on Kiera’s teacher Jeri to put me in touch with the animal trainer. That connection is in progress. I promise to report back later.

Meanwhile, here’s a link to a video of that day’s events:


And now, since it’s THINKing Thursday, I just did a quick THINK and decided to search my writing around the word think

WOW! I found tons of “think” poems in my files.

Seems “The Thinker” has done its job to stimulate my thoughts…and then some!

One poem, “A Hog’s Life,” carries an original date of 1996. Yep! It’s been hanging around for some time now…in hopes of seeing daylight.

WOW! THINK about that! Whether a piece of writing is tucked away in one’s brain cells, a file cabinet, or it’s buried deep inside a computer system (as was this poem), it just might be longing to see the light of day.

(Guess you can tell how I THINK about and consider each piece I write…it’s one of my “babies” with feelings and all…)

So while you’re THINKing, THINK and TALK with your child on this thought. When I use the figure of speech “seeing the light of day,” I’m meaning as in getting to be viewed by eyes…and maybe even lucky enough to get read aloud on tongues.

So, go ahead. Read this one aloud to your child of any age:

What's a hog's life, anyway?

A Hog’s Life

My sister hogs the bathroom.
My brother hogs the sink.
Our baby hogs my mommy’s lap.
I live with hogs, I think.

Copyright © 1996, 2009 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

WOW! You and your child can have some THINKing fun with that poem today…in any way you like, actually.

However, if you’d like a Parenting 4 Literacy tip to add to your own ideas for THINKing and TALKing about that poem, here comes one…or more.

TALK about the word fun of THINKing about “hogging” space.

Give your child a look at the size of that pictured hog. WOW! A hog takes up a whole lot of space!

Or try innovating on my text to change sister or brother or baby to personalize names and titles around those who live in your home.

Hmmm. What new poem will the two of you create?THINKing up a thought!

Or THINK and TALK about why “It’s a Hog’s Life” has dates for two years preceding my byline.

If your child shows interest, you might say that the older date is there to protect this poem from way back in time when I first wrote those thoughts…and the newer date is there to protect my poem now as it’s being first published.It IS a hog's life!

WOW! There’s yet another tip to THINK and TALK about…you might help your child own the word byline as the name of the person who creats a piece of writing or other creative original work.

You and your older child may also get into some THINKing and TALKing about the fact that the byline and copyright protect a person’s ownership.

Rodin’s “The Thinker” is similarly protected as Rodin’s unique and original creation.

WOW! I’m now THINKing as a parent and educator…I’ve been there, done that.

So I can hear what’s coming in this conversation of yours! Your child wants bylines and copyrights to claim full rights and ownership on this or that possession!Go ahead...find with your child a THINKing Thursday...and a Free-for-All Friday!

Hmmm, now you’re likely onto the territory of trademarks. (Hey, I once wrote a children’s story about trademarks.)

Anyway, if the two of you can’t amicably settle rights and ownership issues that come up––well, maybe it’s time to call in the intellectual property attorneys.

WOW! Maybe the hog knows!

Tomorrow is Free-for-All Friday…wonder what’s waiting for us tomorrow!?

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TALKing Tuesday w/Babs! WOW!

It’s TALKing Tuesday, so let’s talk. TALK is just words, after all. So let’s say words. Which words will you say today in this TALKing fun? It all depends on your child’s age.

baby girl in pink picIf you have an infant or toddler, say nouns/naming words–and emphasize each as you say it. Nouns name tangible or real things you see and can touch as you name them…right where you find yourselves at any given moment.

I see the chair. I move this table. We touch our car. I pick up the carseat. This is your shoe. Here is your teddy. I’ll get a diaper. I answer the phone. We read the book. Here’s a spoon. I open the newspaper. Here’s your cup. Look at the camera. WOW! Imagine the hundreds of items you’ll name with words you say today!

At other times with your infant or toddler, play the Verb Game, emphasizing the action word (verb) just as you emphasized the naming word (noun): I run. We walk. I hop. They swing. We read. You swim.

WOW! The Lilac Lizards in Valley Center CA are likely looking for ways to be all kinds of catalysts like our Catalyst Kiera. And I wonder how many students at Lilac have made abrupt stops on the playground or tried to look most debonair like they heard me telling in my poem, “Mr. Bear.”

Maya at Wild Animal ParkIt's a lizard, it is!Maya, what word games did you play with your family this weekend? Natalie, how about at your home with your family members?

(Shout-outs for 2nd graders who have been consistent pen pals with me…and who tell me they will be reading this blog with their parents. Girls, you and your family members–and anyone else–can respond in the comments section at the bottom of this or any post in this interactive blog.)

Okay, so, if you live with a preschooler or child of primary-school age, you’ll want to spend a few minutes each day playing those Noun and/or Verb Games.

For a fun variation of the Verb Game with these ages, take turns saying action words in any tense or form: run, running, giggle, ran, walked, hop, fly, swim, play, readWords, Words, Words by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, drink, ate, wrote, talked, and so on until you just seem to run out of verbs. For exhaustive lists of such words, check out my book, Words, Words, Words (available at <;).

Are you ready for this? These same word games entice older kids. Yes! And even high schoolers easily get pulled into such word games. The difference lies in the kindWords and More Words by Babs Bell Hajdusiewiczs of words the two of you throw out there. And in the challenge you present to one another to see just how long you can keep the game going.

Although my Words and More Words book (available at <;) contains lists of nouns and verbs that can keep the Noun or Verb Game going far beyond both your bedtimes, this book will also tempt the two of you to branch off into naming synonyms, antonyms, homophones, metaphors, similes, parts of speech, rhyming words, prefixes, suffixes, palindromes, commonly misused words, commonly misspelled words, and much more.


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WOW! It’s another Funday Monday w/Babs!

It’s Funday Monday already? WOW!

It's California!I’m posting late in the day, you say? Okay. Truth is I’m still on West Coast time. Though I’m physically back home in Atlanta, I surely left my head in Valley Center CA with all those lizards. Omigosh!

Even had my picture taken with a giant lizard whose proper name I actually need to clarify before I dare post its photo. So, we’ll talk more about it tomorrow on TALKing Tuesday…and focus on individual words you use as you TALK in conversation with your child.

Today, on Funday Monday, think of a book you read as a child. Name that book that made an impression on you. Got it in mind?

Now, tell your child a story about how and why that book became special to you!

Then ask your child of any age to name a favorite book. Ask your child to tell you a story about why that book is a favorite.Dick and Jane stories

My own childhood book is actually a series. And there’s a story about the lasting impression that series of books had in my life.

It's Indiana, land of Hoosiers!Now, you may remember that I was born and reared in Indiana. It snows there! Brrrr!

But Dick and Jane and Sally never wore heavy coats. And they often took Spot and Puff outside to play…in sunshine.

“So,” I asked my teacher Mrs. Lee, “where’s the snow?”

Now, in one of those story books, I apparently noted palm trees. And what must have happened is this…Mrs. Lee (or my classmate who’d traveled far outside of rural Indiana) must have told me the Dick and Jane stories took place in California. 

The reason I think that is because I loved those stories so much that I expected to grow up and live there…in California. I wanted to live where the sun shines all the time. With palm trees arouAnother palm tree!nd me. Yes! I thought I’d live right where my favorite stories took place.One of my desk's bookshelves

That’s one reason a copy of the Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane and Friends sits in the row of books on my desk. Every glance at its cover takes me to California.

That’s my book’s story. WOW! The power of a book!A book can take me ANYwhere!

What’s your book and its lasting impression on you? And what’s your child’s book and story? Tell us! Go ahead. Post a comment at the end of this post.

Tomorrow, on TALKing Tuesday, and all this week, actually, we’ll take virtual visits to Kiera’s school. You might review some prior posts to meet “Catalyst Kiera” face-to-face.

And what a charming catalyst we found in 2nd grader Kiera! We have her to thank for causing it all to happen last Friday…what a memorable author visit it was!

Yep! I was there. At Kiera’s Lilac Elementary School in Valley Center, California.

This week, you’ll meet Kiera’s teacher and her classmates. And Kiera’s twin. And her entire family. You’ll meet tons of Lilac Lizards (with lilac here and lizards there) including Maya and Natalie…and their fabulous teachers and administrators.

You’ll meet parents disguised as furry and scaly creatures! WOW! Get this…then real furry and scaly creatures showed up! What a zoo!

You’ll also learn why I felt right at home when I got sent to the principal’s office.

No, I wasn’t in trouble.

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Free-for-All Friday w/Babs & Lilac Lizards! WOW!

This Free-for-All Friday finds me in sunny southern California visiting Kiera’s school. If you don’t know the back story of my trip here, view last Friday’s post in this blog. CA map

There, you’ll find a song to sing with your child. About a rainbow. You’ll learn how two cultures describe rainbows. And, relatedly, you’ll see a rainbow-covered cornfield that sits next to my birth home in Indiana. You’ll also meet 7 yr old Kiera face-to-face.

Before I lizard pichead off for a day of literacy fun with Kiera and her fellow Lilac Lizards, let’s stimulate a whole lot of THINKing and TALKing today with your child…and explore this question Kiera’s teacher posed: “Where do you get all those ideas you write about?”

First, let’s THINK about your child who is…or is destined to become…a fabulous reader and prolific writer. How do I know that about your child’s present/future literacy skills?

I know because you are tuning in to this blog each day. You’re looking to learn yet another easy, fun, practical, and doable literacy tip you can put to use while spending time with your child. At-home time. In-the-car time. At-appointments time. Wherever-time.

WOW! Your child will be a super reader and writer because you are TALK-TALK-TALKing together.

You’re TALKing with your child because you know that TALKing spreads a rich buffet of language and knowledge.

And you know that TALKing ensures that your child can choose to own all that language and knowledge you own.

You also know that it doesn’t matter whether you, the parent, left formal schooling in 8th grade or went on to earn graduate degrees. To your child, your bank of knowledge is what it is…HUGE.

And all you need to do is THINK and TALK in order to share with your child every morsel of knowledge you own…every word and every idea embedded in each word. Your own bank of language and knowledge comes from your own life experiences. And your child wants to hear it all!

So, on this Free-for-All Friday, let’s extend on the THINKing and TALKing we’ve been doing this week…and respond to Kiera’s teacher Jeri’s question of how writers get ideas.

Like for most writers, life experiences present me with more ideas than I could ever write about in a lifetime. In my roles as a parent and a teacher, I’ve recognized how one’s life experiences cause us to form ideas and values and opinions…about ourselves and others.

WOW! THINK about that powerful fact. And how it follows that the more we TALK and READ about ideas with kids, the more choices kids have as they’re forming their own ideas, their values, and their opinions about themselves and others.squirrel pic2

Another fact: Writers know there is more than one way to tell a story. Otherwise, how would it be that thousands of writers have written in thousands of ways on any one topic, such as Abe Lincoln or dinosaurs!

So, here’s a fun way to stimulate THINKing and cause a whole lot of TALKing with your child today. Take any experience the two of you are sharing.

Have you sighted a squirrel? Are you searching for a missing shoe? Are you cleaning up a milk spill? Okay, how might you tell that life-experience story?

Will you begin with words, such as “Once upon a time…” or “Neither of us could find it…” or “And there it was!” WOW! There are tons of ways to begin, aren’t there.

So, while the two of you are marveling, searching, or cleaning up, start TALKing to name different ways your story of this shared life experience might begin.

By the time you two have TALKed a few beginnings, guess what? WOW! You’ll be on to yet another life experience to TALK about. Then at another time or on another day, TALK some of the many middles or endings a shared life-experience story might include.

WOW! Look at yourselves there…just living life…and all the while helping your child TALK toward becoming an incredibly imaginative writer. Or a super reader who reads to comprehend…that is, can pick out in a flash the beginning, middle, or ending of a story or article.

Yes, writers live life, TALK about it, and then write from those very life experiences!

Tune in here on Funday Monday for another literacy tip…tied, no doubt, to some tales of my life experiences with the Lilac Lizards. WOW!

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