Some of your students may hate writing assignments, whereas others may enjoy them very much. Writing is an extremely important skill for students to have. Studies show that poor writing skills are detrimental to business success. More importantly, without writing, students may not be able to express themselves adequately. Since the art of writing is both creative and practical, here are 5 ways to inspire your students to write:
Individual journals– One great way to inspire your students to write daily includes passing out a notebook or composition book to each child. This way, they will have a place to record their thoughts or answer prompted questions. To read more about the effectiveness of this exercise, read this paper from Indiana University. After every student has a “special” notebook (you can even have them decorate the cover or choose the color of the book), make classroom time to ask a question that they can write the answer to in their books. Possible questions include: “What is your favorite food?” or “Does your family have any holiday traditions?” After giving your students time to process the question and write about it, you can ask if any students would like to volunteer to read from their notebook.
Letter writing– Sign up with a pen pal program that matches your students to other students. This could be international or domestic. Typically, school groups sign up, each student writes a letter and sends a small token and then the two students are “pen pals,” exchanging letters for a semester or quarter. The students will have to learn to write letters to keep up with their pen pal. For more ideas on letter writing, visit the suggestions from the Pearson Longman resources website.
Introduce blogging – Likely, your students will already know what a “blog” is, depending on their age level. A safe way to start a blog project is to make a class blog. There are many resources for planning and setting up a blog. This means you have one blog and each student is responsible for making a post. You can let your students’ parents know about the blog, so they can follow it from their home computers.
Make it fun with poetry – You can start a lesson plan by talking about famous poets and reading some of their work to your students. You can also incorporate ideas about haikus and other forms of writing into this lesson. Poetryteachers.com has detailed plans and ideas on how to teach poetry and incorporate related activities into your writing lesson plans.
Encourage your students to submit their writing to area contests – Another way to get students inspired to write includes giving them support and the resources they need to enter local writing contests. Some schools have writing and art contests each year, whereas other students may have to look to their cities or states for such opportunities. A popular national contest is the Scholastic Art & Writing Contest.
Whether you decide to inspire your students through poetry or competition, keep in mind that writing skills, just like reading, are essential to everyday life. When a student can write well, he or she will have an open opportunity at future jobs and success. Read more here about how crucial writing skills can be in the business world.