If one of your goals as a teacher is to get your students to write, you might have a big challenge in your hands. Even though the writing is one of the first skills that we learn, and we are so proud when we manage to do it for the first time, for some reason many students lose interest in it over the years. Writing becomes an annoyance to a large number of them, and a well-intentioned teacher might have a hard time trying to make them see any beauty in it.
But, of course, their lack of interest shouldn’t stop you from trying to light up the old flame and get them back to their notebooks or word processors. No matter how old they are, there is a natural inclination for writing lying dormant somewhere for sure. And all that you need to do is to access and trigger it accordingly.
Tip # 1 – Give a broad list of options
A big mistake made by many teachers is trying to force an entire class to write about the very same subject and expect to get high-quality from all of them. According to research by specialists from Essay Writing Help, by giving to students more than one topic to choose from, you will be stimulating their imagination and creating an opportunity for them to find their voice and something that they can relate to.
Yes, sometimes, you need to be true to the curriculum, and you might not have much space for flexibility. But you can always allow them to find different angles and ways to approach the subject without hurting your learning goals.
Tip #2 – Let them choose the topic
Whenever is possible, let your students be completely free to choose what they will write about. You can create something like Free Friday, a day when they can bring to class any kind of text they have come up with over the week. To make it even more exciting, forget about marks altogether, and do it just for the fun of it.
This way, your students will have an opportunity to let their creativity runs free and to build a real connection with their writing, as they aren’t under any pressure, except for the deadline.
Tip # 3 – Careless about grammar
Grammar plays an essential part in the development of our writing skills for sure. It is grammar that allows us to communicate in a way that we can all understand, avoiding misunderstandings. And it is also true that it can become a crucial factor during a job application process in many professions.
But, if your goal at the moment is to attract your students to write, you should know that being a member of the grammar police won’t help. You probably have heard plenty of acclaimed authors saying that this is the thing that they least care about while writing their first draft, or even the second because if they do, they are likely to be tormented by writer’s block, for instance.
Now, imagine what it can do with your students, who aren’t any close to that level of expertise, and let them write freely for a while. When you see that they are confident and engaged enough, then maybe will be the time for you to go through possible grammar mistakes with them.
Tip # 4 – Suggest a Collaborative Writing
Another thing that you can do to get them interested in writing is to propose a collaborative writing exercise. This can be a good way to increase their confidence and to make writing less of a solitary activity, especially if you are dealing with a very active class. Also if students have some difficulties with their task, they always can consider using custom writing service, and professional authors will help them to complete their writing. Also, it can be done in many other ways, but the most common one is by giving them a piece of paper with the beginning of a story and asking them to take turns writing one paragraph per time. Or you can ask them to organize themselves in small groups and use any online writing tool as a resource to come up with a story together.
Tip # 5 – Try a contest
You can also trigger their competitiveness as a way to get them to write and promote a contest for the best story of the week or the month. Of course, you will have to offer something in return, from a prize to a little help on their grades, but it will work, have no doubt – just make sure that you write down all the rules so it won’t become a headache for you later on.
Tip # 6 – Publish a book
If you think you can count on your school’s support, you can try and publish a book with your students’ stories. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should be something that they will be proud to take home. It is, in the end, an extended version of a contest, but counting with a jury and a ceremony this time. Prizes can come in the form of trophies and free copies of the book.
Tip # 7 – Let them write real stories
Another way to attract your students to write is by letting them use real facts that happened to them or others as an inspiration. It may boost their confidence in what they want to tell a reader. Not everybody has a talent for fiction and expecting that all of them can come up with a good tale is quite unfair. But we are all capable of talking about what happened to us during our last holidays, and you should use it in your favor.
So ask them to write a piece for a journal or to put into words their opinion about any story they watch on TV or came across on social media. It will give them a good point start from where they can continue improving their writing skills.
Tip # 8 – Try some brainstorming
If you feel like your students are running out of ideas, you should try some brainstorming so to stimulate their imagination. After presenting the topic they should write about, take a moment to discuss it with them, offering some background information that might help them to connect with it. Let them also be free to speak their minds, do some research online, and talk about it without the need of making sense – you never know from where a great idea will come.
Tip # 9 – Use games
Teachers that get upset by hearing about using games to improve writing skills are becoming obsolete, and you know that. The educational industry has improved its products over the years, and there are plenty of reputable options ready for you to use in class so to achieve your learning goals.
It is also true that the generation of students you might be dealing with is probably more comfortable dealing with technology compared to paper and pen, and it is a waste of time to fight against it if you want to attract them from an early age. Remember that the medium isn’t more important than the message in this case.
Tip # 10 – Allow audio transcriptions
Last but not least, you can always suggest your students dictate their stories to a voice recorder first and then transcribe it. Some of them find a blank piece of paper such a daunting thing that they just can’t get anything done when they see one in front of them. By recording their story first, they will get their ideas out of their chest, and all that they will have to do after it is to get them written down in an appropriate format.
As you can see, there are many ways to get your students to write. And it is all down to make them feel more comfortable with it and to let their imagination free to be creative. So start putting these ideas into practice right now and see which of them work best for your class.