Thursday, July 15, 2010

Helping Kids Write

In many ways, writing is a lot like reading. Just as kids will read more when they see people around them reading, they will write when their parents or older siblings write. There are plenty of ways to get kids to write, both on and offline. Check these out and see if it helps improve and increase the writing habit:

Give your kid a journal. A journal need not necessarily be a diary, where you write down what happened that day. Tell your kids to write in their journals about something that touched them, something they found funny, or simply something they'd like to remember. You can also get them to make their own book and personalising it.

Draw pictures and then write. Since children learn to write by drawing pictures, you can get them to draw something and then get them to write a story based on what they have drawn. Magazine pictures, photographs and stickers work just as well. In case your kid has trouble getting ideas to write, you can make a list of words from A - Z. You can make a list using simple words and letting kids use these words in their stories. There are also alphaboxes on the internet that can be downloaded and printed out so that it gives them a continuous reference point for their stories and story ideas.

Now, there is a website called PicLits that makes it fun for kids to write. It doesn't matter whether your child can spin a yarn naturally or struggles to frame a sentence properly. PicLits provides hundreds of images, based on which the child can form a story. Other than the freestyle option used by advanced users of PicLits, where they can type out their story, the site also has a drag-n-drop option. There are almost ten coloumns of words - nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, prepositions, etc, for the child to choose from and make a sentence. There is also a saving option so that your child's writing can be saved and mailed, blogged or shared in online communities like facebook and myspeace. PicLits also allows you to read things that have been written by other children that are fun and will inspire to create. New designs are going to be added to PicLits soon! Take a look at the site here.

Finally, and most importantly, as Suite 101 says in their website about getting children to write,
Remember, when children share their stories with you, make sure you listen to them. Ask questions to encourage more description and compliment them on their word choice. Try not to offer too many suggestions or criticisms. For a reluctant writer, that could discourage them from expressing themselves through the written word. When provided with encouragement and opportunities, struggling writers become more confident in themselves and in their stories. 
This is where I thanks Suite 101 for their insightful tips, sign off for the day and say, happy writing!

Image source: PicLits

blog comments powered by Disqus