Helping Student Writers Find That Vital Spark of Inspiration
To prepare for the writing that will emerge during the year we need to teach young writers how to find great ideas for writing lying deep inside themselves, before writing about them with focus. We need young writers to think deeply about what they are writing down. We want them to write about the things that matter most to them, -those things closest to the heart.
Encourage young writers to REREAD their initial work efforts to see if they can add more information for their reading audience.
Possible Teaching Points Upon Which to Focus:
•Writers make lists of important memories, people, places which could become story topics.
•Writers often sketch important memories, people, places which could spark an idea for a writing piece. They collect artifacts and ephemera to further stimulate their thinking.
•Writers get ideas for writing from reading lots of books. Books similar in genre/mode to what they are wishing to write.
•Writers identify and learn from their mentor authors.
•Writers choose topics close to their hearts.
•Writers choose small topics/ small moments because it makes the writing more powerful.
•Writers choose ideas that matters enough to write a lot about it.
•Writers know that writing about what we know, think, feel or wonder about a topic helps us discover what we truly wish to say.
•Writers rehearse their words. They plan their lead sentences before writing them down.
•Writers often use pictures, maps or drawings to help tell their stories.
•Writers can add labels to their pictures.
•Writers can return to older writing pieces to add, revise or edit.
•Writers spell lots of words by saying them slowly and writing the sounds they hear.
•Writers must be brave when it comes to unfamiliar words by attempting them before seeking help.
•Writers use details from their stories in their illustrations.
•Writers often think about and then plan their stories before they begin writing.
•Writers reread their writing when they think they are finished. They often reread aloud to hear the words.
•Writing can take many forms –books, cards, songs, signs, instructions, letters, poems. Often they are together in the one writing piece.
•Writers understand that dialogue can bring a story to life, or reveal a character.