Teaching students to become better writers can be a challenge. The majority are used to texting or giving short answers in written form. As for doing research, they may know how to use Google, but they usually have no clue as to what is a good reference to use. In the world of education, teachers desire to reach their students to better these young minds for the future. However, many educators can be at a loss as to how to make writing skills appear important to learners. Here are 10 ideas on how to make writing skills interesting to students.
Model What You Expect From Your Students
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Demonstrating how to write also sets an expectation for your students to follow. If writing in the spur of the moment is difficult for you, write down what you want ahead of time so that you can draw from it during your lesson. Showing students the writing process includes the thinking components as well. Speak out loud about what you are brainstorming and how that helps with crafting a writing piece.
Show How to Use Primary Sources
Adobe Education Exchange includes many ways to gain knowledge and expertise in many skill sets. This primary sources activity allows educators to assist students with understanding what is a primary source. Students will then create a display using Adobe Spark to explain what they found in their chosen source along with how their source is a primary one. The class then gets to share and comment on each other’s work as they learn from one another on how to do research and communicate with others.
Show Examples of Strong and Weak Writing
Students love examples of how to do something. So, why not do that by showing examples of what makes a writing piece strong or weak? Start with a paragraph or two for students to review. Have them determine whether the writing is “strong” or “weak”. For the weak pieces, have students state their reasons as well as possible rewrite ideas.
Make Writing Part of the Routine
Educators have heard about “writing across the curriculum” for several years now, but few have implemented it for a long period of the school year. Extending writing into all subject areas will show students how important of a skill it is. Have them compare and contrast different periods of history or summarize a concept in science. Allowing writing to be part of the daily learning regime will let students become comfortable with the process.
Practice to Build Skills
When teaching a genre of writing, have students write many smaller pieces instead of one major piece they will have to revise over and over during the unit. Practice makes perfect, so why not allow for many practice moments to build a skillset?
Have Them Read
Reading can do so much for a student. Spending time engrossed in a book exposes students to vocabulary and different writing styles. Being exposed to different ways of writing can influence how students tackle writing assignments.
Add Milestones to Expectations
Milestones allow you and your students to see where everyone is in the writing process. This can be requiring rough drafts for feedback or certain aspects of a larger writing project to ensure the assignment isn’t a rushed job hours before a deadline.
Rubrics or scoring guides allow for you and your learners to understand what is required for high marks in their writing. Allow students to have access to these guides as they write so they may judge how well they are doing or make notes of what they need to work on.
Understand Cultural Differences
Every culture is beautiful, including their writing styles. Keep in mind how non-native students may structure their work. For more information on this, visit the Intercultural Communications Center’s Writing Clinic.
Talk About Good Writing Behaviors
Young learners may think that strong writers are naturally gifted in their craft. Explaining to students how even great writers can have issues choosing the right words can be encouraging. Explain to them what behaviors good writers have as well as demonstrate how those behaviors work. It’ll go a long way to help a struggling learner reach their potential.
Writing is a skill that everyone needs. Most communication today requires one to write and another to read what is written. We need to ensure that the future of written communication is in good hands by teaching our students today to be prepared for the world tomorrow and beyond.