“Write drunk; edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway
“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.” – Truman Capote
Writing shouldn’t be a mundane task, out-of-context, and painful to get through. It should be a passionate, thoughtful experience; a playful and rich process. This starts from you. Be wide-eyed and enthusiastic when reading children’s work. Model the joy in reading and writing.
|How do you inspire a love of writing? (Also: see, look! We DO use pens and pencils …sometimes)|
Here are a couple of takeaways from the course, tl:dr (“too long, didn’t read”) style:
- The key to writing is oral language – if they can’t talk about something, they probably can’t write about it.
- For teachers – be writers yourselves. Know what it means to get from the head to the page. Start a journal, record interesting personal experiences and characters. You don’t have to always read stories to children – tell stories too!
- Provide opportunities to write daily. Practise is the best ‘instruction’ of all.
- For youngins: write from personal, common experiences. Don’t introduce text-types too early. When you do though, make it purposeful: “I want to tell you a personal story, so we’re going to use personal narrative.”
- Emphasise “putting a magnifying glass” over certain experiences (don’t waffle on about the whole holiday for example, stick to your most memorable moment).
- Great writers don’t tell the whole story – encourage the children to “show don’t tell”.
- Read poetry every day. It encourages children to be more playful and descriptive with their own writing.
- When giving feedback / reading a child’s piece for the first time: make sure they know their message has been communicated (use a statement, not a question and do so using their own language). Then strengths, then next steps.
- Don’t have them write too much! They can’t be bothered going back and re-crafting / editing. Quality over quantity. They can write long meandering rambles at home if they want to.