So often our young writers struggle with being able to focus for more than a few minutes. This is especially true at the beginning of the school year, or after a long break away from school. Today I’ll share one of my favorite writing mini-lessons with you on how to help students build their writing stamina.
I begin the lesson by writing the mini-lesson statement on an anchor chart piece of paper before I meet with the class. The mini-lesson statement I use in this statement goes like this: I also write a title for a list the students will help me complete. The title of that chart is “Ways We can Build Our Writing Stamina”. So on the top of my anchor chart, it says “Writers work to build their writing stamina so that they can spend more time doing their best writing”, and then I have a title that says “Ways We can Build Our Writing Stamina”.
To start the lesson out I’ll get everybody out, read over the statement, and then I’ll talk about how writers need to work on building their stamina so that they can write for longer periods of time. Then I’ll mention to them that we’re going to practice that. I’ll give the kids a few examples of ways we can build stamina. I might say things like “Practice writing for a little bit every day!” or “Write down all of our ideas and thinking and not just the ones we think are the most important. Then I’ll invite the kids to help me add to the list that our class comes up with. After a few kids share from raising their hands and inviting them to learn, I will put those ideas on the list. Then I’ll have everybody get actively involved by having them turn and talk to a partner about other ideas we can put on our list.
Here are some things your student might say, and of course, they can come up with all kinds of unique ideas. You might have on your list, ways to build stamina is to keep our minds focused on our writing. So, talk about being focused when writing and not other distractions like what’s for lunch or what am I going to do tonight. One might say re-reading our writing to get more ideas, this helps build our stamina. So talk about going back over and reviewing your own writing and letting our imaginations take over and not being so worried on language and spelling, but just simply giving ourselves that freedom to write. Understanding that there is no wrong answer when we are writing and to keep writing down whatever our brains our thinking is key to remember.
By using the prompts in this lesson I get students to understand the importance of building writing stamina. We start practicing right away. I like to use writing prompts to help begin there writing on topics that interest them.
I hope you can use this lesson to help build stamina with your writers of all ages in your class! If you need student-friendly writing prompt ideas you can check out my writing work HERE!
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