7 Ways to Encourage a Love for Writing
In today’s digital age of text messaging and auto-correct, students may not appreciate the importance of learning to write well. From tablets, to smart phones, to desktop computers, we are bombarded with quick fixes for poor writing, making it difficult to encourage a love for writing in kids. In addition to the educational benefits, students who enhance their writing skills may also improve their future career opportunities. According to “Writing Your Way to Happiness,” a recent New York Times article, “writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits, and even boost memory.”
While Learning Liftoff provides resources for getting a good start on writing projects, we also strive to provide writing inspiration as well as encourage a love for writing. Whether you are looking for inspiration to use in the classroom, at home, or in conjunction with your online learning program, here are seven ways to help instill a love for writing in your students:
Blogging isn’t just for businesses, it can be a great tool for students as well. Students can compose blogs about practically anything, and many classrooms are even using blogging sites as platforms for submitting assignments.
Write a Poem
While there are several different styles, techniques, and forms to consider when writing poetry, students don’t have to adhere to the typical rules and conventions that they are required to follow for other written assignments. Encourage your students to research the different types of poetry and to be creative when writing new poems. Students can even make up their own poetic form. For extra motivation, K–12 grade students can enter K12‘s 2015 Poetry Contest. Visit stories.k12.com for details.
Journaling is similar to blogging in that you can write about nearly anything. The benefits to keeping a journal range from their privacy, in comparison to an online blog, to their accessibility (you don’t have to be connected to the Internet or even have a computer, tablet, etc.). Here are some sample journals to consider:
You can buy an inexpensive drugstore journal,
purchase a journal that is specifically marketed to students, such as the Wreck this Journal,
or scribble your thoughts on just about anything, including these Thought Cloud Sticky Notes.
Enter a Competition
There are several competitions for young writers, including contests hosted by K12. A little competition can motivate students to try something they may not have tried otherwise. While a prize is always nice, the best outcome is when a participant finds that they enjoy writing more than they would have realized otherwise.
Many schools, including K12 online schools, have writing clubs that bring students together in an effort to inspire a love for writing in kids. Girl Scouts, for example, earn their “Scribe Badge” by writing a poem or short story.
Brainstorm with Printables
Use free printables, such as the ones below, to make brainstorming creative writing ideas more enjoyable.
Use Art to Encourage a Love for Writing
View, or even create your own art, to inspire your kids. According to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Looking to Write, Writing to Look resource, “Great writers are great observers. They consider the world around them, notice overlooked details, and make connections. Looking carefully at art helps us to develop these observation skills. Art encourages us to slow down, look closely, and reflect on what we see. When we accept this invitation, we are rewarded with new thoughts and perspectives. These ideas and insights provide rich material for writing. ” So head to a museum, enjoy exhibits from your home, or create your own works of art, using K12’s “Arts and Crafts for Kids” Pinterest board for inspiration. Or try your hand at writing a new ending for classic books and then encourage your kids to do the same.
Have you used any of these methods at home? Comment below, sharing what has inspired a love for writing in your kids and let us know what your students enjoy writing about.
Sarah Mills is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. She mentored and instructed kindergarten through high school-aged students throughout her college years and eventually went on to live and work in Yosemite National Park for a stint. Reading, writing, adventuring, and anything Harry Potter are some of Sarah’s favorite go-to activities.