It’s no secret that teaching students how to write is tough. It’s not just because writing requires complex skills but also because it’s often met with the lack of enthusiasm right from the beginning. For sure, collective sighs or eye-rolls aren’t unfamiliar to you when you tell the class of their writing task for the day. All the same, it’s your responsibility to get them motivated. The first step is to know what exactly turns them off from writing.
They get overwhelmed with writing tasks.
“Write anything” can seem like a good step toward encouraging kids to broaden their imagination, but in most instances, it just leaves children empty-handed when it comes to writing topics. There are too many things to explore that they end up overwhelmed and unmotivated to write.
Thus, when you give writing tasks, as much as possible, aim for something specific and clear. For instance, when teaching characterization, ask them to write five to seven sentences about how their main character looks like. When explaining the setting of a narrative, let them describe a place with talking chipmunks or squirrels. Yes, be as specific as that. The bottom line is to provide a structure for the children to follow so that they can quickly complete the task.
They fail to see the fun in writing.
Writing is not fun for most students. It’s a tedious and lonely task. However, the truth is that it’s just a matter of being creative. You can make writing less of a drudgery and more of a delight. Throw writing prompts in class. Gather the students together in one big circle and fill in the prompt with one-sentence contributions from each student. Let students draw illustrations in their stories. Compile students’ writing and produce it as a folio. Organize a book launch in school, invite the parents, and have some pupils share a thing or two about their experience of writing. Doing so will allow children to have a better appreciation of writing and inspire them to become a full-fledged professional someday. Explore different kits of book publishing for children. Choose one that suits your young writers’ needs.
They are afraid to make mistakes.
Some pupils refuse to write because when they tried before, their mistakes were “traumatic.” These errors probably created insecurity and evoked criticism from classmates who performed well. Of course, it’s essential to point out errors in grammar, spelling, and sentence construction for the benefit of improving writing skills. Still, know that there’s a more gracious way of doing it. Find good points, acknowledge them, and tell your pupils to maintain them. As for the bad points, take note of them as areas for improvement and let them do writing exercises.
It’s tough to teach students how to write, especially when they’re not into it in the first place. Thankfully, you can learn what makes them reluctant and adjust your teaching strategies to accommodate their needs. The next time you go into the classroom, you’ll be able to encourage your reluctant students to write.