There’s a reason why young students don’t like writing: it’s a lonely task at its core. They get bored, lazy, and unmotivated to break out of a creative rut because for the most part, interacting with paper is so solitary. Princesses in fairy tales and talking animals in fables can be exciting, but if pupils can’t overcome the feeling of being alone with their pen and paper, they won’t be able to see the fun in writing. That said, it’s important to encourage social activities in your writing sessions. Here are ways you can do that:
Complete a story as a class
Writing prompts help jump-start students’ imagination in creating stories. However, it’s often just used in personal writing. One of the best ways to get kids excited about writing is to apply the principle of writing prompts in a group setup. Gather the children in a big circle, and then give one sentence as an introduction for a story. Pass the paper and have one student continue the story by adding another sentence. The student passes the paper to their classmate sitting next to them, who’ll also write another sentence. The routine goes on until everyone has filled the paper with their sentence-contribution to the story. Afterward, ask one pupil to read everything aloud in front of the class. This will create laughs or giggles in your room, dispelling the lone-writer feels in your class. Include this story in a children’s book project to further encourage your students.
Create pockets for discussion
Another way you can make writing a little more social is providing avenues for children to express what they think. When you finish reading a short story, group the children into smaller teams and give guide questions that allow discussion of what they have read. Frame your questions based on the writing lesson. For instance, if you’re talking about characterization, ask the students to write and share what qualities they admire about the protagonist or which of their decisions are the most striking. Another avenue that you can use for discussion is your bulletin board. Post a poem or short story and have the students write a one-liner comment about it. This makes reading fun and writing a community effort.
Compliment each other’s work
You can also encourage being social in your writing class by having students read each other’s work and commenting on it. Ask them to write what they liked about their classmate’s story and what can be improved on. Compliments and suggestions for improvement will help children appreciate their work further. Plus, it encourages students to apply what they’ve been learning in your class when giving feedback on others’ writing.
Has your writing class become dragging for students? Perhaps the loneliness of the task is creeping up on them already. Fortunately, you can turn things around and bring back the enthusiasm in this solitary art by making your classes more interactive. Although reading and writing are usually done in solitude, you can do something to make them more enjoyable.