I was daydreaming, this morning, about the kind of things that children really love to write. I thought that there is nothing like a clip board -and a list of names. For very young children, writing out a register is the best fun. Then you can go around the class asking an important question like ‘crisps or chocolate?’ or ‘cats or dogs?’ Sooner or later there will a survey that can lead to an, oh so satisfying bar chart: which of the following is your favourite ice cream flavour? which breakfast cereal do you eat? packed lunch or hot dinners?
We like to read the results, too. I began to think of those Q & A interviews in magazines: This much I know… A life in the day of….
It would be fun for writers of any age to come up with a list of interesting and revealing questions – the trick will be to provoke surprising answers. There could be questions about preferences [favourites and pet hates] but those may only yield one word answers. What about some things about experiences: what is the funniest, scariest, surprising thing that has ever happened to you? Where do you think is the best place for a holiday? Tell me about something that you have done that makes you happy or proud, or that will make me laugh. You could ask about routines and life style: what do you like to wear at the weekend? What would be your perfect party? Where do like to read? What have you got in your pocket?
The questions could be for a few people in the your group, or you might branch out, ask a family member, someone who works at your school, someone who you know and admire.
Now that I have started thinking about it, there are many possibilities. The world is your oyster and I am very, very sure that you will be able to think of much better questions than I have thought of.