Ways to Encourage Reluctant Writers

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Excellent writing skills in our modern world are important. Writing has been important since humans have evolved from the oral tradition of passing stories or information down from one generation to another.

Since then, writing has been one of the most important ways we communicate with other humans.

Here are some ways to encourage reluctant writers in your classroom. Give them a try when you feel stuck in your normal teaching writing routine.

We write to communicate

In today’s world, more than ever writing has been a key way to communicate with others.

Even if we do not know the language, you can use Google to translate what you are communicating into the appropriate language.

For many, writing can be difficult.

As teachers, regardless of what you are teaching, we should help ease this difficulty with daily writing prompts for our student writers.

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Writing prompts help

Writing prompts help students eliminate writer’s block. They help to inspire creativity and create a habit of writing and sometimes will help the student learn something new.

Here are some ways to encourage reluctant writers in your classroom. Give them a try when you feel stuck in your normal teaching writing routine.

Writing prompts is one way to help get student’s writing juices flowing. There are several ways to create writing prompts. You can begin by having students write a list of:

  1. Things they love or hate or both.
  2. Things they want to do before they die.
  3. Places they want to visit.
  4. People they admire and why.

However, if even as a teacher, you have difficulty, there are many writing prompt websites, and writing prompt apps.

One app I’ve used in my class was, “Writing Prompts”.

My favorite writing prompt idea was to have a paper bag with an item. The students can put their hand in the bag to feel what it was but could not see it. This would prompt imagination and creativity for the writing piece.

Another idea I used often was to post a picture on the board for students to either write an informative, persuasive or narrative piece.

Here are some ways to encourage reluctant writers in your classroom. Give them a try when you feel stuck in your normal teaching writing routine.

Writing helps intellectual development. When a student writes, a teacher is able to understand whether they have moved from the knowledge level of Bloom’s Taxonomy to the analytical and critical thinking skills level. Writing helps students  practice using their higher order thinking skills.

Essays are decision-makers

Often an essay is a way that many students are judged. Essay results are often a grade, college admissions, scholarship awards or determining a students’ academic ability.

Essays also help educators understand a student’s thinking skills. Writing essays add value to academic growth. Writing on real world topics help students authentic their writing skills.

Write authentically

Creating writing prompts that allow students to write a letter to persuade a city council to add more sidewalks is something they may have to do while living in a community.

Or, writing an editorial on why a night club should not be next to a 24hour daycare center. Allowing students to write on real world issues helps to make their writing real and not just for the teacher.

Even asking a student to write on the other’s perspective, i.e. the night club owner, would also help develop higher order thinking skills.

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Dr. Genola Johnson has over 20 years in education. She is the Executive Director of Georgia Educational Learning Consultants, Inc.

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