narrative organizer

Writing a Short Story with a Narrative Story Organizer

This week, Viva Learn students have been writing short stories. It’s nice to see how enthusiastic they are about this exercise. You can also try this fun writing activity at home with your kids.

Step 1: Pick a Topic

For this exercise, we encourage students to write about anything they like. However, we find that Scholastic Story Starters is a great tool to have on hand for coming up with story ideas.

Step 2: Plan the Story

A useful way for students to organize their thoughts and ideas before writing their story, is by using a graphic organizer. Remember, the more detail included in the organizer, the better the final product will be. We found a great organizer at The image is also provided on this blog post.

Step 3: Write the Story

Once the organizer is completed, the writing can begin. Remember to use proper paragraph format. Review your child’s piece for grammar, spelling and flow.






Persuasive Paragraph Outline

Persuasive Writing Exercise

This week at Viva Learn we are covering the persuasive writing style. When we write persuasively it means that we are trying to convince someone of something and maybe, even change their mind on the topic. This is an important writing style to teach youth because it helps them develop reasons and facts behind their opinions. Learning about this writing style also helps increase our awareness of influential and persuasive messages we experience through media.

Easy Persuasive Writing Exercise

1. Ask your child to pick a topic (opinion) of real importance to them.

2. Have them write a paragraph on the topic using the format provided in the attached image. The purpose of this paragraph is to convince you/reader of their opinion.

Topic ideas: 

  1. Is indoor or outdoor recess better?
  2. Why should you be able to buy (choose item)?
  3. Can you live without your electronic device(s)? Why or why not?
  4. Persuade your principal why school should start one hour later.
  5. At what age should kids be allowed to stay at home alone?



Write a Letter in Traditional Format – Activity

For the most part, the traditional letter format has been replaced with short emails and text messages. Emails and texts are easier and quicker than writing a full letter, so it makes sense that most people prefer these methods. But every now and then, we find ourselves in a situation where the formal letter is the appropriate communication medium. For example, the letter format seems right when applying for a job, providing a letter of reference for someone, or even wishing Happy Birthday to a favourite aunt living overseas.

As part of week two of our summer tutoring program, students are practicing the traditional letter format but with a twist! Each student gets to write a letter to another student they have not met. They will receive a response and then write back with another letter.

This activity is so easy to try at home. Encourage your child to sit down and write a friendly letter to a friend, neighbour or family member. There are so many things they can write about. Below are a few ideas, plus an image showing the traditional letter format.

You may even try writing a letter yourself. It will certainly impress someone to receive a nicely written letter – it’s a rarity!

What to write about?

– A recent vacation

– An event you’re looking forward to

– An event you participated in

– Favourite pastime and/or hobbies

Letter Format

The image below (from illustrates the proper letter format. Remember, you’re not restricted to ‘Dear’ to address your recipient or ‘Sincerely’ to close your letter.

traditional letter format viva learn tutoring milton