The key to unlock the writer within is ideas! And all children come with a variety of ideas. Children have many stories to share – their personal stories, stories of fear, stories of joy, stories of friends and families. As a teacher, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could create space for their stories in the classroom by giving them a chance to pen their ideas? Don’t you think children would be motivated to write best when they care about what they write? In addition to sharing personal experiences, writing should also be used as an effective tool for thinking across all subjects. Writing need not be the sole responsibility of the English teacher; rather children should be encouraged to write in math, science, social science, art, music, and other subjects. Also, writing should be extended as a way of communicating ideas and as a tool for thinking beyond the gates of the school, instead of being a passive exercise within the four walls of the classroom. In this regard, I share some ideas with you that have worked best for me.
Sharing personal stories
The first step to encourage students to share THEIR stories is to share YOUR stories. I like to talk to my students before they start writing. I let them share their stories verbally. ‘Talk’ before and during writing helps students formulate their ideas and organize them. Here are some questions to get your students started:
Is there any memorable incident from the past that you would like to share?
Is there something special that you saw on your way to school or at home – an animal, a bird, a person, a thing, an incident that attracted your attention? Children need to know that writers see beauty in simple things.
The author works as an educational consultant and a storyteller in Pasadena, California. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.