March 31, 2014

5 Fun Ways to Teach Writing

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I don't know about you, but I always had to work extra hard to get my students excited about the writing lessons and assignments. It just didn't seem to be a naturally fun thing to them and many would get frustrated or bored within a few minutes. Their short attention span didn't lend well to focusing on writing a story or essay for a longer period of time. Well, it's time to change all that! Here are five simple ways to make your writing lessons fun and engaging. 


1. USE THE STUDENTS AS PROPS


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Kids LOVE anything that gets them moving or actually doing something. As often as possible, use the kids themselves as visual aids and get them out of their seats.

USE THIS IDEA: Sorting word cards into correct part of speech? Tape a 3x5 card with NOUN, VERB or ADJECTIVE to the forehead of three students. Have them stand at the front of the class. Have the other students pick out a word card and tape it to the correct person's arms, head, etc. 




Psssst! This is one hands-on idea that I included in my Parts of Speech Activities resource. There are many more- check it out!






2. CREATE A CHARACTER



Have kids create their own characters at the beginning of the year, complete with fictional families, hobbies, and personality traits. Throughout the year, have students practice different styles of writing as they write stories about their character's adventures. They have so much fun making up a whole other life for their character.

USE THIS IDEA: You can use this fun resource I created to guide your students through making their own personal characters. Each unit explores one of the main types of writing: descriptive, narrative, explanatory/research, or persuasive. They also include a few mini lessons to help you reinforce specific writing skills. At the end of the year, combine all their stories together to create a book about their character's adventures.



3. MAKE A GAME

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Turn your lesson into a game and see the interest levels soar! (Hint: Make it boys vs. girls to really get them fired up! Heehee) 

USE THIS IDEA: Print off a set of generic game boards that involve the players rolling a set of dice and moving from one end of the path to the other (check out these free ones here and here. You can use these boards for any subject or topic. Create a set of 3x5 cards with questions pertaining to your lesson topic and require that the player answer one card correctly before they are allowed to roll the dice. 



4. CREATE A BOOK

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Allow them to publish their written work somehow, whether in a class newspaper or magazine, on an online blog, or by making their own books.

USE THIS IDEA: Choose someone to make the books for. Pick a younger grade, a teacher who is going to have a new baby, a child in the community who is in the hospital, etc. Explain that you are going to create books for these kids. Have these stories include writing skills that you are currently working on (including descriptive adjectives, synonyms, character traits, etc). Let the students draw illustrations to their stories when they are done. Giving them this project gives them a reason to write and acts as a great motivator. 



5. GIVE STUDENTS A PURPOSE

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Give students a purpose for their writing. Explain the reason they are writing this letter, story, speech etc at the beginning of the project so they can get excited about it.

USE THESE IDEAS: Write letters to soldiers or a pen pal class. Have each student choose something about their school they think should be changed and have them write a persuasive essay to the principal about why he or she should make that change. Write poems for Mother's Day or Father's Day. Write a 2 minute play about a current social studies topic you are studying and act it out.

What are some fun ideas you've used to spice up your writing lessons? 


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your creative ideas about how to engage learners. I'll be putting these to good use this year.

    ReplyDelete

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