Classroom Writing Exercise

Classroom Writing Exercise by Jason DiazGetting children thinking like writers is the first step in getting them to write. “Now, I’m going to get you thinking like writers,” is a good way to introduce a new exercise. Showing children a sloppy writers’ notebook gives them permission to think freely without worrying about making mistakes.Explaining to them the job of a writer in its most simplistic form will get them thinking about about their new activity. A writer takes the time to notice things then makes those things matter. In other words, writing is about giving meaning to all elements surrounding the world by putting their explanation or story down on paper.Kindergartens to Grade Three Participate in an Engaging ActivityThe activity begins with group brainstorming. Before the children all go off to write on their own, pick a subject and make a big list. Their brains work and work to make this list and the results are enthusiasm and energy.To begin, draw a picture of a hand in the centre of a flipchart or Smart Board. Other body parts or objects, like a foot or chair can be used. Ultimately it does not matter. The hand tends to be the most successful with younger grades.Make a List Using the Picture as a Point of ReferenceStart a discussion about everything the children’s hands can do. Fill the entire flipchart with their ideas. It is truly amazing to see their brains turn on and fly with the concept. Some of their answers will include: Play, hold, take, give, eat, sign language, hit, punch, pet, feel, button, wash, raise, wave, read Braille, push, pull, tickle, point. There will be more, but these are the most common ones. The list is endless.Encourage each and every child to participate. There is no wrong answer and everyone gets at least one turn. If time allows, have each child stand up and write their answer themselves.Write a Poem About the SubjectStudents now have material to write about their hand. It can be written in a non-rhyming poem with words that are interconnected by the subject chosen. If they want to make the words rhyme, they can. But it is not necessary. Doing a rough copy then a good copy is a good idea. Each poem should also contain in its final product either a hand print of outline of each child’s hand.Start the poem with “My hand is special because…” and end it with”What makes my hand even more specialis that no one else has it.It belongs to only me.”A Sample Poem to See How the Activity WorksMy hand is special becauseI hold my dog’s leash when we go for a walk.I pet him and feel his soft fur.I point for him to sitthen feed him a treat.My hand is special becauseI wave to my friend from across the streetto come over and play.What makes my hand even more specialis that no one else has it.It belongs to only me.This Activity is Successful Because Children Relate to the ObjectA combination of list-making, association, brain-storming and focusing on something to which all children can all relate make this a fun learning activity. There is no wrong answer and everyone is given the chance to participate. The opportunity for children to work independently after they put all their brains together to make a writer’s idea list, means that no one will make a mistake.communication and media essaysArticle Source: