writing and children

Creative writing and children

Children love to use their imagination and write stories. For the teacher, it’s simple: just prepare them and then let their creativity take its course. Here I’ll tell you about some of the strategies to get young writers off to a good start.

Students don’t have to worry about grammar when doing free writing. It is an activity that allows them to bring out ideas for stories, or starting points for more elaborate writing. They can use the free writing phase as a guide for what follows.

They can also work in groups on collective work – this is a great help in writing poetry and satire. We can even extend this type of exercise by asking them to play their production for the class. Group work helps students critique the work of others or write collaboratively.

The teacher can ask students to write their journals in the traditional way or to engage in poetry, ideas for fiction or drama. The journal should always be kept private, so that students feel free to write out of control.

At the draft stage, it’s just a matter of putting ideas down on paper. Rewriting and editing allow students to become aware of the necessary editing work.

It is essential that the texts are read aloud, as this makes it easier to recognize errors. Once all the corrections have been made, the final version can be established. At the end of the work, the students must be proud of what they have produced and ready to share it with others.

tumblr_mnhjxmilB41rgktkgo1_400Strategies for teaching writing to children

1.  We teach “writers”

What happens during your “writing sessions” has everything to do with who you are; your convictions inevitably appear in each lesson or each exercise that you offer. If you show your own passion for writing, your students will follow you.

2.  “Writers” must remain connected to “reality”

– children want to write about what matters to them;

– We must make them feel that we approve of their ideas, their thoughts, their dreams, their doubts;

– personal experience is the source of the best writing;

3.  The teaching of writing should be a mixture of ideas and techniques.

The teacher must constantly model the writing: share your ideas and some of your thoughts with your students.

– Many many examples taken from literature and read aloud;

– Plenty of exercises;

– Independently conducted diary experiments;

– Guided writing;

– Individual work, in pairs, in small groups and as a whole class.\

4.  “Writers” must feel reassured

Your students need to feel secure as they explore their ideas and know that you will treat their output with integrity and respect. If you want them to write, that’s one of the keys to this teaching.

– Children should feel appreciated;

– Provide them with lots of stimuli (show them that their experiences can give rise to ideas that are worth putting down on paper);

– Give them time to write, explore the world of words;

– Always make time for sharing: this shows the students that you find what they have written important.

5.  Inspire your young “writers”

Because you want your students to connect their readings to themselves and the world, their writing should also connect to real-life experiences.

– Cause the words to be released in their consciousness.

– Feed them actionable materials before they even start writing.

– Feed them with reading, works of art, science, field trips, anything that can constitute an experience that can lead to writing activities.

6.  Remember that writing is a process

– It is not a process that takes place in a prescribed order;

– It takes time: a single course on rewriting is insufficient;

– Do not expect every text to be finalized;

– Never let them down, support their efforts: if you don’t, they may never try again;

– Remember that we write to share. Allow them this sharing, because often the opinion of their peers matters more to them than yours.

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