Encouraging Excitement About Writing
If you have a reluctant writer, you know how hard it is to get one to complete writing assignments, much less enjoy them! The key to helping our students love writing is to make it a fun, natural extension of our school day. You can take the pressure off learning to write with these tips to help your students flex their writing muscles without fighting.
- Teach Them the Fundamentals Early and Often
When something is hard for us, we are often less likely to enjoy or seek out that activity, and kids who fall behind with writing skills often begin to hate writing. That’s why it’s important for kids to have a strong foundation in grammar and writing techniques. So, make writing natural for them by ensuring that they understand parts of speech and mechanics early on.
- Read Alone, Read Together, Just Read
Good writers are avid readers; the two go hand-in-hand. Reading opens up new worlds to explore and engages the imagination just as writing can. Institute daily reading time alone and as a family. Explore different genres of literature and writing, and share power by allowing your kids to pick the books you read aloud.
- Think Outside of the Book
Keep writing new and exciting by exploring different styles based upon your children’s interests or other units you’re studying. If you’re studying Greece, read mythological tales. Studying Japan? Haiku is such a fun writing style! And if your child loves superheroes, go with comics.
- Connect to Real Life
From cereal box ads to traffic signs to email and texting, our kids are already interacting with writing daily. Think about how they currently interact with writing and start there. Point out writing whenever you can and imitate it. You’ll be surprised how much fun writing cereal ads can be!
- Take It Online
Let’s face it, kids love technology. Why not hook them into writing by using the very devices and apps they love? This will not only pique their interest but also help to prepare them for the future where technology will be an integral part of their daily lives at college, work, and beyond. Start a blog, sign them up for an e-mail address, or even design a webpage.
- Start with Art and Make It Visual
Many kids “hate” writing because they are visual learners and see the world in pictures. So, make art visual by studying visual forms of writing like comics, advertisements, and political cartoons. Allow your child to start the writing process visually with graphic organizers, story boards, or even pictorial essays.
- Make It about Them
Most students are more likely to participate when they understand the benefits and are interested in the topic. So, make writing about them; their interests, hobbies, and lives. Give up control, and let them choose a topic. Then encourage brainstorming, research, and free writing before a writing assignment.
- Play Games
Take out the formality, and insert the fun in writing! There is a ton of fun writing games out there that can help you hook your reluctant writers. Mad libs, story starters, and riddles are all great games that encourage creativity and critical thinking skills.
- Persuasion for Privileges
To truly persuade someone you must have passion. But so often our lessons on persuasive writing involve real-world debates that have no connection to our children’s lives. The next time you and your child are battling over a change, new privilege, etc., turn it into a unit in persuasive writing by having your child write out their argument in a speech and deliver it to mom and dad.
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