Writerly Play

Bring Active Learning into Your Writing Classroom

Writerly Play offers an untraditional doorway into the writing process. Through a variety of games and activities, your writers will take action and tackle various genres of writing. Writerly Play utilizes games to facilitate creative and critical thinking at every stage of the process, from idea generation to idea development, to drafting and revision, and even through the sharing of work.

Why Writerly Play?

Your writers range from highly motivated to those who struggle over every word. You’d love for every writing lesson to meet with enthusiasm, but the truth is, teaching writing can feel like a chore. It takes an enormous amount of energy to cajole, inspire, support, encourage and stretch an entire classroom of writers.

But … what if your writing lessons were met with cheers? What if you had a toolkit of practical strategies that allowed you to use games to tap into and develop your students’ natural gifts of communication? What if those same games and strategies provided simple ways to differentiate your instruction?

It sounds too good to be true, we know. But in hundreds of classrooms and with thousands of students, we’ve seen Writerly Play win over even the most reluctant of writers.

How does Writerly Play work?

Writerly Play is a story-based lens to help writers personalize, map, and problem-solve the creative process. First, Writerly Play invites writers to determine their personal creative style, the WHO. Next, writers explore the WHERE, five mental rooms that define and differentiate key thinking skills. Only then do we introduce the WHAT, games, questions, and activities—tools for each room. Writerly Play makes thinking and creating visible, concrete, and manageable.

Does Writerly Play replace my current curriculum?

Nope! Think of Writerly Play as a boost of creative momentum to add to your Writer’s Workshop or other curriculum. Quick activators and facilitated thinking through games and improv will add variety and energy to your writing mini-lessons. You can get a sense for what Writerly Play can add to your writing classroom in our Writerly Play for educator series. Check out the first three videos for teachers below.

Resources for Educators

Educator Membership

You’re pouring your passion and energy into your students. We’re here to partner with you in that incredibly important mission, offering printables, games, masterclasses, and classroom support for our annual Inklings Book Contest.

Writers’ Club Support

Looking to start a writers’ club at your school? Book an Inklings mentor for a one-time visit or ongoing support. We also have printables, audio, and video resources to add flair and fun to your club meetings.

Professional Development

Learn Writerly Play strategies and tools hands-on with Naomi Kinsman. Options include virtual training and mentorship, in-person intensives, and classroom modeling sessions. To share your needs so we can send you a customized proposal,

We are currently offering a beta program called Writerly Play in the Classroom. Our video and audio program materials are offered for free in exchange for pilot feedback and developmental evaluation. To apply to take part, email us at info@younginklings.org.

Want more games and resources like these?

Join Society of Young Inklings as a FREE educator member. You’ll receive monthly goodies designed just for you and your young writers. To start, we’d love to send our educator starter kit, which includes Quick Start Guide to Writerly Play, filled with simple tools and strategies you can start using right away!