Whether you want to admit it or not, many students don’t like to write. Whether that’s drafting a fairy tale, coming up with a poem, or just relating what they did for the weekend, most kids just aren’t into it. Writing is one of those classroom routines that top the children’s “most boring” list.
If you want to get them to write, you have to break through their apprehensions. Fortunately, there are lots of good habits you can teach now so that they could be eased into writing. Here are some of them.
Read, read, read
Yes, it’s another “boring” exercise for students. But reading is a habit indispensable to writing. So try to change things up a bit in this aspect: let them pick what they want to read. When students choose for themselves, rather than having reading materials assigned to them, they feel a greater sense of ownership to what they read. You’re also communicating to them that reading can be fun.
Another way you can switch up their routine is to let them read their fellow classmates’ works in front of everyone. They would feel a sense of accomplishment in this setup. Consider checking out new technologies that allow students to write a book online for free, so it will be easier for you to make outputs available. Once they pick up the reading habit, they would gain a lot of inspirations in terms of idea, voice and style, which can absolutely help their writing.
Let them brainstorm
You want students to spend time generating ideas, not just so they could have something to write about, but more so because it would help them get into the zone. It would put brain cells to work and jump-start the creativity process.
In most cases, the brainstorming part is actually what most students look forward to in the writing process. It’s simply exciting to let the mind wander. There are lots of ways to facilitate this. You can arrange for a time outside the classroom, perhaps in your school garden or football field. You can also bring in a so-called imagination trigger, say, a weird-looking object the class has to decipher or a colleague who’s in a costume. The bottom line is you need to give your students time and space for ideation.
Write a one-liner each day
If you want your students to love writing and really get into it, encourage them to do it every day—at least a one-liner each day. It could be an insight into what their day had been or a description of the mac and cheese they had from the school cafeteria. Anything. The key here is consistency, doing it every single day. Over time, the practice of putting down words on paper will somewhat be a reflex to them.
Writing is a skill that you can’t develop overnight. It’s built on good, simple habits. Encourage your students to try these routines to get them excited about writing and eventually fall in love with it.