Tuesday, April 1, 2014

5 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Writers

Dealing with Reluctant Writers Can Be a Daunting Task!

 Writing Activity
Becoming a Writer

There are just as many excuses as to why students don't want to write as there are topics to write about.

While many of these reasons are only excuses, there is also a long list of real reasons that may be keeping your students from getting down to the business of becoming REAL WRITERS
  • poor knowledge
  • dyslexia
  • dysgraphia
  • lack of interest
  • lack of practice
  • boredom 

If we want our students to embrace the process of writing, we MUST inspire them to want to write!

5 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Writers:

  1. Make writing fun!
  2. Help students find their creative side.
  3. Teach students how to visualize and / or draw a picture before they begin writing.
  4. Allow students to orally tell another student what they are going to write about before they ever pick up a pencil.
  5. Use real photographs to help inspire students to write.
Writing Strategies

One of the most simple strategies that you can do with your students is to make it fun!  Use games, activities, puzzles, drawing, posters, etc. to help your students have fun with writing.

Visualization isn't just for reading!  We all know and LOVE Tanny McGregor for teaching us how to teach our students to use visualization to help them understand what they are reading.  

Using Visualization to Write

We should be instructing our students to also use the visualization strategy to assist them in thinking of what they want to write.  Visualization is great for adding details to writing!

If students are struggling with the process of visualization, we can make it even more simple for them.  Encourage your students to draw a picture first! 

Writing - Use Drawing as a Strategy

Many teachers tell their students that they must write their paper first, then, if there is time...they can draw a picture. Encourage your students to draw a detailed illustration first, then write a story about the picture they drew.

Let students draw before writing a story

Another writing strategy that is good for all students, but especially good for your ESL students is to have them tell a friend what they are going to write about.  If they can orally tell what they want to say first, it will really help your students get going!

I saved my favorite writing activity for last!  I have had the pleasure of teaching 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade and 4th grade over the last 17 years.  

I have had the greatest success with using photographs with my students. Let me say that again.  Using photographs will inspire your students to write! 

I usually begin by doing this in a whole group setting and then I will transition my students to doing this in a small group, with a partner, or write independently.

Here is an example of the type of photograph that I use with my students:

Use photos to inspire writing

I begin by asking my students the following questions:

  • Where does this photo take place?
  • Who would you imagine this picture is about?
  • What do you notice about the picture?
  • What does the photo make you think about ~ what connections can you make?
  • How does the picture make you feel?
  • What would you do if you were part of this photo?
  • What kind of story can you make out of this photograph?
I have numerous activities that I have students do with the different photographs.  

I do have a PICTURE WRITING Kit in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store - 

The kit includes 7 writing activities, a writing checklist, and 54 colorful, interesting photograph cards.

You don't have to buy my kit to do this activity in your own classroom! 

You can easily make one yourself.  

What do you do to inspire and encourage reluctant writers in your classroom?

I would love to hear from you!

jen :)