Many students put a lot of effort into not doing their work.
All teachers confront the challenge of motivating their students to want to write. While the NWP does not believe there is any single "correct" way to teach writing, here are 10 ideas that NWP teachers have found successful.
For almost 30 years, the National Writing Project has been working to improve the teaching of writing in the nation's schools. Central to our effort is the belief that successful teachers are the best teachers of teachers. We believe many of the most useful ideas about teaching writing emerge from the classrooms of teachers who are doing the work.
Every day of their teaching lives, NWP teachers and all writing teachers must confront a key question: How do I motivate my students to want to write?
While the NWP does not believe there is any single "correct" way to teach writing, we are pleased to offer strategies that NWP teachers have found successful. A PDF version is also available for downloading. Writing need not begin and end at the classroom door Judith Ruhana, a teacher-consultant with the Chicago Area Writing Project, built a writing unit around the Skokie Northside Sculpture Garden.
At the garden, her students from Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois, immersed themselves in over 50 works of outdoor sculpture. Working in groups, students examined all the pieces, then chose one for their focus.
They photographed it, rendered it in an artistic representation, and wrote poetry, songs, descriptions, and short stories inspired by the piece. Each group contributed to a performance, attended by family members, that spotlighted the class's work in the garden.
In addition to the written work, there were poster presentations, a video show, musical compositions, and even a dance.
Writing can connect kids to their communities. Diane Babcock wanted her third-graders at Olivia Park Elementary School in Everett, Washington, to better understand the world their grandparents had known. Babcock, a teacher-consultant with the Puget Sound Writing Projectpaired her students and prepared them to visit the Seabrook Assisted Living Center in Seabrook, Washington, where each team interviewed one of the residents.
Students had brainstormed questions that led seniors to talk about everything from World War II to daily life in s rural America. Ultimately, students wrote a narrative about their senior partners, adding photos and other imagery, and presented their creations to the folks at Seabrook.
Kids like to write to other kids. Out of this diverse group, he wanted to create a community while advancing the English skills of these immigrant students. It occurred to Berkman, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project, that he could put himself in the background and allow the students to write to one another about what they were learning.
His peer journal project soon had paired students from cultures as diverse as Vietnam and India, writing to each other about the holiday traditions of their lands of origin and evaluating the life and work of Mahatma Ghandi, the personality they were studying in their social studies class. Says Berkman of peer journaling: Students write best about what concerns them most.
The core idea of Write for Your Life is that important issues in students' lives should be at the center of their learning. Swenson and her colleagues believe that whatever writing students do should seek an audience beyond the classroom.
For example, one student created a firsthand chronicle of her journey through anorexia. She wrote to her teacher, "I wanted to let you know that I let my doctor read my paper and he is now using it to show the other patients.
I felt very proud of myself. In a small way I accomplished my goal, to help other people not go through what I have gone through. Students are motivated to write when good writing is recognized.
The event occurs in two stages. In the fall, up to students of writing project teachers attend an instructional and motivational workshop.
A Journey into the Interior.
They submit writing in a number of categories and they return in the spring for another workshop and announcement of the winners. As the contest is a yearly event, those who do not receive top awards one year are usually motivated to try the next year.
Said one parent of her son:At least that's what your professor will say when you get your paper back marked with a letter from the nether regions of the alphabet. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Writing final papers in a hurry is a skill just like, say, painting a fence. How do I make $ online in one week? How can one make $4,/month sitting at home in 6 weeks of time?
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