I begin by sharing my own writing. This is where you establish credibility as a teacher of writing. My writer’s notebook with its range of text investigations lets students know that I am a writer -just like them!
I engage students in conversations around my writing life.- Sharing how I harvest ideas, how I notice things and how I solve problems in my writing. Such conversations create a powerful dialogue that aims to demystify writing, making it appear more accessible to the novice writer. I am sharing the powerful message that writing holds something worth pursuing.
I share examples of quality writing (fiction and non fiction) that have caught my eye. It is important for young writers to see what it means to read like a writer.
I celebrate the wonder of words used by authors in innovative and interesting ways and invite students to write in the style of an author they admire. I take time to show them how I also learn from authors I admire.
I am consciously laying a foundation for writing; creating a climate that welcomes the celebration of language. To do this I encourage students to join me, take a risk and dive into the writing life! I am investing heavily in a range of pre-writing strategies and activities. Writing is so much more than form and structure.
Important Actions That Spark Writing
- Encourage students to develop regular lists of potential writing ideas/topics
- Encourage students to decide how they might best write about a specific idea
- Introduce artifacts into the classroom and show how they can spark memories and ideas
- Demonstrate the value of inquiry to stimulate writing ideas
- Draw- maps, characters, storyboards
- Demonstrate how you write across a range of genres when considering a topic to find what best suits your needs as a writer
- Read, read, read and make the reading –writing connections visible
- Read about writing and identify writing mentors for yourself. Encourage your students to follow your lead.
- Make talking about writing an integral part of your writing classroom.