Motivations for Kid Writers (02:24)
Elementary school students explaining why they like to write and the types of writing they enjoy. How can teachers help students understand the value of their experiences? What practices encourage children to look inside of themselves?
Diverse Home Life, Dual Immersion (03:54)
Children’s home lives, languages and family backgrounds can be rich sources of inspiration for writing. Christine Sanchez begins her lesson with a traditional Navajo greeting. All of Sylvia Edgerton’s fifth graders come from Latino backgrounds, and they benefit from writing in both Spanish and English.
Respecting Children's Experiences (02:53)
Latosha Rowley lets her third-grade students in Indianapolis know that what they think and what they feel is important. She has them write what is important to them in their notebooks. They later return to their “heart map” to find ideas worth exploring.
Portable Notebook (02:07)
Keeping a writer’s notebook gives students a well of ideas they can return to when they get stuck. Author Katie Wood Ray stresses the importance of students taking such notebooks home and making them part of their lives.
Daily Writing Exercise (03:17)
Ms. Sanchez’s students participate in a morning ritual. Each day, they spend several minutes recording a recent experience in their notebooks. After they finish, Sanchez invites them to share their entries with the rest of the class.
Persuasive Writing (02:56)
Students often focus on their personal lives since that is what they know; but, given the chance to share their opinions and broaden their horizons, they can readily use writing to influence others. Portland, Oregon teacher Mark Hansen leads a lesson on writing to persuade.
Student Choice (04:57)
Ms. Rowley has created a classroom ritual that emphasizes the importance of allowing her students to choose what to write about. Fourth-grade teacher Sheryl Block believes her role is to open the door so children can discover what they want to express.
Thinking About Audience (03:53)
Ms. Edgerton encourages her students in Phoenix to think about who they are writing for as a way of shaping what they write. When kids see writing as authentic communication, not just an academic exercise, they will write with more enthusiasm and purpose.
Credits: Reasons for Writing (01:21)
Credits: Reasons for Writing
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