Many kids are reluctant writers. You’ve seen them…the ones that look up at you with pleading eyes and ask How long does it have to be?
Early this week, two summer school groups entered my room for a course entitled “Strengthening Reading and Writing Skills”. When I asked them to make a human continuum from Please-don’t-make-me-write to Bring-on-the-writing, most put themselves toward the middle or reluctant end of the writing enjoyment spectrum.
Yesterday, I took a put-your-head-down-and-raise-your-hand poll. The prompt: “Raise your hand if you like writing more than when you entered on Monday?” All hands went up. One asked, “Is it okay if I keep writing about this tonight?”
In the spirit of sharing, I made a video that more or less encompasses my first lesson. The goals are twofold:
- Move students away from the mental image that writing is something teachers make them do.
- Show students how published writers get started in their writing process – where the ideas come from.
In an email conversation with Lisa Yee, she mentioned that she had writer’s notebooks in multiple rooms of the house and in her car. Students loved hearing that – especially the ones that have a hard time getting a single notebook back and forth between home and school.
Students got a kick out of Lisa’s video on how she writes books. Many of them are waiting for a great idea to knock them in the head or float down like fairy dust. It’s nice for them to hear that published authors struggle with ideas too.
How do you help reluctant writers get started?
A question for the video-makers out there: Any feedback on the video? Thoughts or suggestions?
A question for those who know copyrights: In the video, I show pictures of book covers – which are copyrighted material. However, I’m using the pictures to promote the books. Is it illegal to use someone’s work to positively promote them?
If you like what you read, consider subscribing to Expat Educator (below).