April 10 is Encourage a Young Writer Day. Writing can be a challenge. Some may have a hard time knowing where to start. Others may struggle with spelling and punctuation. And then there’s the dreaded “writer’s block”. Here are 5 strategies to help get students to start writing.
It’s all about the topic. Give them something exciting to write about. Get to know their interests. Limit their options to just a few that speak to them. If they’re excited about the topic, they’ll be excited about writing.
What’s needed to start writing? A pencil and a paper. Those are the basics. Go a little deeper and supply some more tools that will help with their writing. A dictionary and thesaurus are great additions. It will also help boost their vocabulary.
Hold a brainstorming session. Either use this to narrow down a topic. Or, if a topic is already chosen, use this to organize your thoughts. Download this free sample Brainstorming List activity for inspiration.
4. Graphic Organizers.
These tools are great when preparing to write. A General to Specific graphic organizer will help students narrow down their topic. A Prewriting Framework graphic organizer will help students focus their thoughts into a structured format. A Spider Web Map graphic organizer will help students list important details about their topic. A Concept Map graphic organizer will help students sort out the Who, What, When and Where of a topic.
Hold a discussion with your students. Maybe include a few more people for different view points. Discuss the topic, what writing means to them, how they get motivated. Come up with a plan for writing. Set up small goals that will be easy to reach.