30 Ways to Encourage Student Writers — Alphabetically Speaking

30 Ways to Encourage Student Writers — Alphabetically Speaking

If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see and hear me offering the following suggestions to teachers & parents (when asked) in an effort to encourage (reluctant) writers both in the classroom & at home … alphabetically speaking that is.


30 Ways:

1.   Authenticity – make it real & relevant

2.   Be an artist: draw stories and ideas first

3.   Brainstorming & pre-writing ideas – take the time; enjoy & play!  

4.   Break activities down into bite sized, manageable pieces

5.   Clear instructions – help to guide them

6.   Create cool, comfortable writing nooks/spaces

7.   Dear Diary – a personal journal; a personal space just for them

8.   Editing checklists – have them on hand

9.   Encourage creativity – whatever this means to each individual child

10.   Fan letters – Who are they “crushing on”? or in awe of? a singer? an athlete? an actor? Write a letter!

11.   Fun Materials – colourful pens & pencils, fancy/cool paper, notebooks, diaries, etc.

12.  Give topic suggestions & ideas

13. Hot Penning – http://www.annburnett.co.uk/hot_penning.html

14. Keep a writer’s journal/notebook – play with it

15. Letter Writing – write to a friend, a grandparent, a pen pal, etc.

16.  Make lists – grocery shopping lists, travel lists, guest lists, wish lists, birthday lists, gift lists, etc.

17.  Model, Model, Model – let them see you writing

18. Music – music & lyrics can inspire pieces of writing

19. Notes – pass notes back and forth

20.  Personal experiences and meaningful memories are good starting points

21. Pictures/Photos can inspire a piece

22. Plan, plan, plan – make sure that you/they have a plan

23. Postcards – short and sweet and fun

24. Provide opportunities to publish & share pieces

25.  Purposeful writing – helps to encourage and guide

26.  Role-playing prior to writing

27.  Share & Suggest – share & suggest ideas – help to get them going

28.   Share & Pen – do some of them writing for/with them

29. Use technology

30.  Visualization techniques

2 responses to “30 Ways to Encourage Student Writers — Alphabetically Speaking

  1. I love all of these ideas! You mentioned a journal, but how about an interactive journal where the child and a parent or sibling write back and forth to each other?
    Kids also love to write captions. You did mention photos or pictures as prompts. Kids can write captions or even create cartoons to practice their storytelling skills. Remember that writing involves oral storytelling skills so don’t leave out opportunities for kids to tell stories and record using podcasting or other tech devices!
    Thanks for getting me to think! You always inspire me 🙂

  2. Thanks for this great list! Modeling is very important. I learned this my first year when my students were not understanding my instructions.Realizing this, I started at square one and spent time modeling and doing group “write-alongs”. This year I introduced blogging as part of our weekly writing assignments which really helped my reluctant writers. They love getting comments from their friends, parents and other teachers!

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