Teaching learn Writing for Children
by Fafa murdhofa zein
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system). It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio. Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration outgrew the power of memory,  and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. In both Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events.
Writing, more particularly, refers to two things: writing as a noun, the thing that is written; and writing as a verb, which designates the activity of writing. It refers to the inscription of characters on a medium, thereby forming words, and larger units of language, known as texts. It also refers to the creation of meaning and the information thereby generated. In that regard, linguistics (and related sciences) distinguishes between the written language and the spoken language. The significance of the medium by which meaning and information is conveyed is indicated by the distinction made in the arts and sciences. For example, while public speaking and poetry reading are both types of speech, the former is governed by the rules of rhetoric and the latter by poetics.
A person who composes a message or story in the form of text is generally known as a writer or an author. However, more specific designations exist which are dictated by the particular nature of the text such as that of poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, journalist, and more.
A translator is a specialized multilingual writer who must fully understand a message written by somebody else in one language; the translator's job is to produce a document of faithfully equivalent message in a completely different language. A person who transcribes or produces text to deliver a message authored by another person is known as a scribe, typist or typesetter. A person who produces text with emphasis on the aesthetics of glyphs is known as a calligrapher or graphic designer.
Writing is also a distinctly human activity. Such writing has been speculatively designated as coincidental. At this point in time, the only confirmed writing in existence is of human origin
I. How to Teach Creative Writing to Children
Creative writing involves more than putting words together to form sentences. A good writer carefully selects words, plans the storyline, develops strong characters and revises and edits his or her work. Teach creative writing with the use of the Six Traits, peer conferences, prompts, mini-lessons and graphic organizers.
a) Start with the Six Traits of Writing: Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions. These six traits provide a way to assess students' writing. When students understand the traits, they know what is expected of their writing. Using and teaching the traits gives you a way to provide specific feedback about each student's skills and needs. Begin each class with an engaging prompt. These prompts could be used for short stories, journaling or oral stories.
Vary the types of prompts. You could use famous quotes, paintings, photographs, comic strips, passages from novels, poems, story starters or anything else students might relate to.
b) Teach students how to hold peer conferences with each other. During these evaluations, students read each other's writing and give feedback. Model or script an effective, valuable conference for the class to see. Vary how the partners or groups are organized; choose a friend, teacher's choice, student to the left, etc. Give students a sheet of questions to ask each other and turn in for a grade or credit. Questions could include: What is your favorite part of this story? Is there anything that is confusing to you, if so what?
c) Demonstrate how to do a story or character graphic organizer. Students use these to plan out their ideas, characters, plot, main idea and direction of the story before writing. These graphic organizers take brainstorming a step further. They begin to take their ideas and develop them.
d) Show students how valuable the writing process is by giving multiple opportunities to edit and revise their work. He becomes a better critic of his own writing and progressively incorporates those critical insights into his own drafting and revising processes when writing outside of the classroom."
e) Teach mini-lessons at the beginning of each lesson. Focus the lessons on a small topic like using adjectives to replace the word "good." Teach other mini-lessons about strong verbs, fragments and run-on sentences, figurative language and good leads and conclusions.
II. The Material when teaching Writing for children
Teaching creative writing to children is fun and rewarding. Kids naturally love to hear stories read to them. As parents many times our children fall to sleep while being read to. Teachers can build a stimulating creative writing program in the classroom by giving the children a desire to write. Here are 5 steps to start a creative writing program.
a) Small beginnings. Start out by finding common topics to the children in the room. Parents, grandparents and pets are usually good examples. Have the students write 5 sentences about the topic. These can fictional and in story form.
b) Dictation. You can get a tape recorder and one by one let the students dictate a story to you. You might find it easier to do without a tape recorder if you can write or type fast enough. On another day you or the child can read the story out loud to the class. This helps the students start to make a connection with hearing stories and making them up.
c) Word processor. Kids take to computers very quickly and most of your students are probably already familiar with them. If possible have them start typing their stories on a computer as soon as possible. Using a word processor is much easier than writing by hand and so the writing will be easier. At first do not be too concerned with grammar, punctuation and spelling. After awhile you can gradually start showing the students how to make capital letters and use some of the grammar and spelling tools offered in most word processors.
d) Idea box. Bring a small box to class and tell the students that this box is only for ideas for stories. Let them know that others in the class will also have access to their story ideas so they may also want their own "idea boxes."
e) Characters. Help the children come up with interesting characters in their writing. Show them stories from authors who are strong on character development. Make the main character likable. An author I like is Louis L'Amour. All of his main characters have high moral values and make honest choices. Of course they get the girl and are expert at everything they do.
Teaching creative writing to children can seem overwhelming at first but when taken in small steps it is not as challenging. Start with basic stories and then work the kids through ideas then into character development. There is other more advanced steps like plot development, editing and publishing but this will get these suggestions will help them get started.
III. The Problems of teaching Writing for children
Sometimes the reason children dislike writing isn’t about penmanship. And the problem for teachers is most kids at an early age just don’t like to write. How excited can you be when you know your entire class is going to dislike the assignment? There are a variety of reasons kids don’t write well. Perhaps we should clarify that statement because writing well and writing legibly are different things. Writing well is. .. Well . . . not easy. Writing legibly – that’s just takes time and patience.
Written language is a highly complex form of communication. It is both skill and a means of self expression. It integrates visual, motor and conceptual abilities and is a major means through which student’s demonstrate their knowledge of advanced academic subjects. The writing skill includes competence in writing, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, and studying, making sound –letter correspondences knowing the alphabet and distinguishing one letter from another. In schools, the writing skill usually begins in kindergarten or first grade. Written expression reflects a person’s level of comprehension, concept development, and abstraction. It is how we organize our ideas to convey a point. Written expression requires skills in three major areas such as handwriting, misspelling, grammatical inaccuracies, and r organization can make it difficult for a reader to understand the meaning of a written piece. Thus, and effective writers are skilled enough in these three major areas of written expression to communicate with minimal misunderstanding.
Among the three major areas of written expression, hand writing is a tool skill to improve the writing ablity. Most of the learning disabled children may have problem with their handwriting. Problem with handwriting are known as ‘dysgraphia’, which refers to partial ability (or inability) to remember how to make certain alphabet or arithmetic symbols (Cicci, 1983) Handwriting problems include misformation of letters, poor spacing both vertically and horizontally, and extremely slow writing .everyone occasionally produces some illegible letters, but some children do so frequently enough that understanding what they have written is difficult. In such cases, handwriting would be considered a problem. Also, most children write quite slowly when they are first learning to print or write is cursive. Slow handwriting should be considered a problem, since a child’s writing speed interferes with his /her work.
Although children make many different mistakes in handwriting, most of their mistakes are made on a very few letters. Anderson, (1968) observed that the letters on which errors are most common are a,e.r and t. Children with disabilities may form these letters or connecting strokes in correctly, and as a result the letters look like other letters. For example, if a cursive‘d’ is misformed in one way, it looks like cl. All of these problems may interfere with other aspects of writing performance.
The learning disabled students are deficient in writing skills. Moran (1981) found that learning disabled and low achieving children in primary schools are performed similarly on formal features of writing; however, the low achievers made fewer spelling errors. Smith (1981) notes that learning disabled children need direct, concentrated instruction to become proficient in written communication. Hence, writing problems of the children have to be considered by the teachers as well as parents, since the writing problem‘s affect their Learning process and academic achievements.
IV. The exercises of teaching Writing or children
Students may be stalled by other language arts skills, such as vocabulary, penmanship, spelling, or grammar. Sometimes holding a pencil is difficult or actually hurts. These types of skills often get confused with learning to write fiction, non-fiction reports, and creative writing. All the other lessons are important to learn as well, but perhaps at a different time. Kids may learn to like storytelling, character development, and inventing plots with a little encouragement.
Here are 5 easy games to teach non-writers to think like writers. Try them with potential writers and get the ideas flowing.
Play a Story-Go-Round Game to Learn Language Plot Skills
Play this little game with two or more players.
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One player starts a story with one sentence. The next adds another sentence. The story keeps building until everyone is laughing hysterically or the story comes to an end.
(1st Person) "Once upon a time a lion was walking along and saw a banana."
(2nd Person) "A monkey was about to leap to grab it, but the lion decided he wanted it more."
* Writer Synonyms for the Word Said
* Homeschooling with Thematic Units
* Holiday Writing & Drama for Kids
(3rd Person) "All at once, they both jumped and conked heads" and so on.
What happens next? Anything!
2. Improvisation and Skits for Theater Arts Fun to Teach Dialog, Plot, and Characters
Putting on impromptu skits encourages creative thinking in a fun way. This is a common theater arts game. Pick two characters and an item or situation (for instance, a clown, a grumpy man, and a bucket). The kids make up the (imaginary) setting and the dialog and act out a scene. More characters may be added for more students.
3. Read an Unfamiliar Book Aloud to teach Storytelling Skills
Stop at some point and see what the student(s) think might happen next. Encourage thinking up logical and crazy ideas, alike.
4. Make Cool Journals or Blank Books to Encourage Writing
Offer lots of types of paper, stickers, glue, or whatever there is at hand. Having a special book made all on their own may encourage a child to write, draw, or use their imagination in their creative way.
5. Play a Character Inventing Game To Learn Character Skills
This will work with any number of students.
The first person gives the person a trait ("He's a boy.") and each student or turn adds another description ("He has purple hair.") ("He rarely talks to anyone.")... Keep going for a while until a character develops. For extra fun, have each child draw what he or she thinks the character looks like.
For more ideas, see Synonyms for the Word "Said", Teach Writing without Handwriting and Getting Kids Writing Published.
There are many ways to use writing ideas with no writing to help jog story ideas, invent characters for stories, and make up settings where wonderful imaginary things can happen. One just needs to set down the pencil for a few moments and let the mind go free.
Newspaper Story - A great way to get your kids writing is to make use of your daily newspaper.
• Find a newspaper article or magazine article that may be of interest to your children. Get them to write more about the characters of the article. What happened to them? What did they do afterwards?
• Or try the same thing just using headlines cut from the newspaper.
Cut out some headlines and stick them at the top of blank (or lined) sheets of paper. Keep an eye out for really funny headlines that you think the kids will like.
Ask the children to write a story to go with the headline. And don’t forget that all good newspapers need pictures too!
• Cut photographs of people from magazines and ask the children to pick two or three of them.
• Write about who the people are, what their lives are like, and how they might know each other. It would also be fun to place the pictures of people in a geographic location and ask the children to write about what they are doing there.
• A variation on this theme would be to go out to a park or cafe and do some people watching. Pick some people and make quick notes about them - how did they look, what were they wearing. Then write a story about them when you get home.
• Comic Books - these are fun to write (remember to let them read lots of comics as research!). There are several online programs for making comic books.
Through my teaching and my informal research, I discovered that the children were more interested and enthusiastic about participating in writing activities that involved dramatizing or writings that would go home.
Throughout my student teaching, I tried to support the children’s individual efforts to learn. I provided them answers to their questions about print, while providing them with paper and writing materials. Offering a print-rich environment filled with books and different kinds of writing were a goal of mine throughout the focus on the children.
Since parent involvement is an important approach to language and literacy, I also tried to promote parent support of literacy within the home during the parent teacher conferences. I explained that using reading and writing materials at home, in addition to school, will encourage their children to write at home. Having both environments show 33 the children the value of reading and writing and will reinforces literacy development. When we provide appropriate writing resources and tools for writing, children will progress in their understanding and excitement about literacy learning.
I hope to be able to use what I have learned from this experience and my review of the research in my own classroom one day. I hope to be able to share, with other teachers and those in the educational field, the importance of bringing writing into the classroom at a young age. I hope others will discover how young children can successfully accomplish this task.
Start a writing club to join together students who already enjoy writing. Don't limit it to "good" writers; open it up to anyone who wants to join. Let students choose their topics on some assignments. Some students may be discouraged or frustrated if they are always told what to write.
Anderrson, D.W. (1968).Teaching Handwriting.Wasington, DC: National Education Association.
Cicci, R (1983).disorders of written Language. In H.r.Myklebust(Ed), progress in learning disabilities (Vol.5, Pp.207-232), Newyork: Grune&Stratton.
Durkin, D. (1966). Children who read early. New York: Teachers College Press
Freppon, P. (1995). Low-income children’s literacy interpretation in a skills-based and whole Language classroom. Journal of Reading Behavior, 27