Have you ever encountered a dazed look on your child’s face when you ask him to write a story? Did tears
spring to her eyes in frustration? Having
taught children to write for more than
twenty years, I’ve found that by thinking
outside the box and providing children
a multi-sensory approach, you can hook
any reluctant writer. Here are eight ways
to do just that.
1.Reluctant writers need confidence. Whether they are poor spellers or slow at sentence structure, play
your ace card: let them pick the topics—
video games, current movies, and even
superheroes. Don’t grade their spelling
or grammar—yet. Children feel stifled
if they have to stop and sound out every
word and fear you will mark it wrong.
What you are looking for is creative expression; get that pump flowing first.
Continue corrections in spelling and
grammar class, but leave the creative
writing class to itself. Good spelling and
grammar will trickle down. As you progress through the semester and feel they
are now hooked on writing, go ahead and
gently introduce corrections to their papers.
2.Never underestimate the creative power of pre-writing. Before they even write one word, help them
plan out the characters, setting, and plot.
For instance, does the character like
chocolate milk? Does he have a favorite
colored superhero cape? Does she like to
camp, chew bubble gum, or raise pet alligators? These little things may seem silly,
but to a child it’s the sweetness that will
whet their palate.
3.Brainstorming with your child is one of the best ways to help formulate pre-writing ideas. It
primes the pump of imagination and
serves as a catalyst of motivation. If every
time your student comes to writing time
they get to engage in the quest of their
characters with you or other children,
it becomes a living adventure and not a
dry, rote lesson.
Never underestimate the creative power of pre-writing.
8Ways to Hook a Reluctant Writer: It’s Easier Than You Think!
by Jan May