From my years as a teacher I encountered many students who would shut down when it came to writing. Some would say that they could not think of anything to write. Others had trouble knowing how to begin. I came up with a few ways to inspire my young writers and hope you find them helpful.
•Have a Writing Center (a designated space for students to bring a clipboard or a notebook and come to write.) It doesn’t have to be a huge space, just keep it well stocked.
•Review the rules for use of the Writing Center. I used these:
• 1. Writing takes place here.
• 2. Work quietly to allow others to do the same.
• 3. Leave your area clean.
•Stock the area with paper, cards, envelopes, pens, pencils, markers
•Have posters, anchor charts and/or a word wall for students to use as reference.
•Allow it to be a ”smart choice” when students finish early.
Fun stationary invites students to be creative.
Use Story Stones- This could integrate art and writing!
•You could start with river rocks.
•Paint a simple picture.
•Put the in a bag or tub with a lid.
•Student pulls out a stone and makes a story.
Sometime allowing students to draw first gets them motivated to write. Often teachers allow students to draw AFTER they write. Try reversing that order. A visual helps them generate ideas.
Speaking of using visuals, try something creative, and give students a story starter: I woke up and looked in the mirror. I was a cat!
Use more creativity and get students to use a thesaurus! Have them re-write words to songs, logos, signs, etc.:
Pledge of Allegiance = Promise of loyalty
•Stop Sign = CEASE!
•Lost and Found = Absent and Established
•Bird cage = fowl pen
•Happy New Year = Merry recent term
•Animal shelter = Creature haven
•Good Night =Beneficial Evening
Most of all, students need good modeling, practice and opportunities to write about subject matter they can relate to. Have fun-it transfers to the students.
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