Are your efforts to have a successful writing class this year flagging? Has the fresh air reminded you that your writing class could use a little fresh air as well? No matter where you are in your write-o-meter, take advantage of these seven proven, powerful ways to revitalize your writing class so you can finish the year on an upswing.
1. Consider taking a break from nonfiction writing (essays and reports). Refresh your students with days of writing stories or poems. Or let them write from fun middle school or high school prompts without being evaluated on their results.
2. Align your students’ writing assignments with their interests. For instance, what kind of car do they dream about driving? They could write a plan for how to save for it or write what they envision their first trip in that car to be. (Most of this could be pure fantasy, of course, which only adds to the fun of writing!)
3. Dovetail writing assignments with history or science lessons. Think about the parts of history outside the history books—sports at that time; a school or group of artists; an invention that impacted the world or is still impacting it today (or how it has changed through the years); a famous writer of the time, his or her world and influences, and a short biography; an essay on the favorite games and pastimes of the era; and so forth.
4. Try some opinion or persuasive writing. Our children have plenty of opinions. The trick is to find ones that really matter to them. When they write a persuasion essay, ask them to write it to a friend to persuade them of the issue. That makes it more personal.
5. Praise them for anything they do well in writing class. Then shock them further by not mentioning anything they could have changed. You can’t do this all year, but it is a tremendous encouragement to a tired writer and gives a great boost to his or her morale.
6. Schedule writing class for the same time each day or week. This always helped my children because they knew what to expect and couldn’t wiggle out of it. This will help yours as well; they’ll learn to plan what they need to do in order to finish a writing task on time.
7. Allow plenty of time for each assignment. For each one hundred words you assign, your students will need at least one hour for thinking, planning, researching, and writing. So an assignment of three hundred words will take at least three hours to write. And this does not count proofreading for a second or third draft.
What other methods have you used successfully to revitalize a limping writing class? Leave your comment in the box below.
Yours for a more vibrant writing class,
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, freedigitalphotos.net
Does the word “outline” send your students into a tailspin? Worry no more! Click here for my latest article in The Informer about an unorthodox method of organizing an essay that really works!
Want daily writing prompts to tempt reluctant writers and delight eager ones? Find out more about Sharon’s daily writing prompts posted on SchoolhouseTeachers.com under “Dailies” or click here.
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