Make and Write: Challenge Cards

April was a swirl of preparation as my husband and I moved the WNY Young Writers’ Studio into its brand new home. There were boxes to unpack, furniture to rearrange, and fun things to hack together.

Look at what he made for all of us:

It’s a mobile makerspace!

This is what I love most about it: It wasn’t anything we planned to do. After unpacking and rearranging, and finally deciding on a layout that we liked, we were left with that huge shelf, a bunch of scrap pegboard, and a ton of leftover supplies from past projects that just didn’t have a place. I mumbled something about dragging all of it home or giving it away, and the next thing I knew, this was happening:


Now, our writers can wheel the makerspace around our little studio, working where they need to on what they need to whenever they need to. They can even roll it into the hall if that becomes necessary. It doesn’t dominate the space, it allows me to maintain the writing workshop aesthetic I hoped to, and it allows writers to use up all of the materials in the space, rather than tucking them away at the end of projects, where they often easily forgotten and ultimately, wasted.

The shelves are a bit thematic. The first shelf houses art supplies (think paint, clay, Play Doh, chalk, pipe cleaners). The second houses scrap cardboard, boxes, magnets, and textiles. The bottom shelf is filled with blocks, Lincoln Logs, LEGOs, and something I’m calling a “Break It Box”: This is a small bin full of donated devices that kids can break apart and tinker with. As we venture into electronics and engineering projects, the contents of the cart will evolve, I’m sure.

Once it was finished and filled, I began wondering if some of our kids might find it a bit daunting. I know that some will dive in and just beginning making and writing, as it’s in their DNA to do so. The cards below are only for those who might need them. I ran them on colored paper and added them to the side of the cart:


I thought I’d share here, too. We’re taking them for a test drive in a few weeks, and I’ll be revising, based on what I learn from the kids. Go ahead and use them, and if you do, please let me know. I’ll be wondering if your students liked them and if you did anything to improve them. Feedback welcome, friends!

Please download the cards right here:

Make Writing Challenge Cards



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About Angela

Founder of the WNY Young Writer's Studio, I'm a writer, a teacher, and a professional development service provider specializing in literacy.

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