Writing is my
absolute favorite subject to teach because it is the time in the day when I
begin to understand my students the best.
Through their writing, I can see their experiences, beliefs, values, and
so on. It is a magical time when their
creative minds are at work! But, before
I can begin teaching writing, I have to ask myself what it is I want my
students to be able to do as writers when they leave my classroom.
planning and teaching writing, we must be self-reflective and ask ourselves
questions as writers. What do we, as
teachers, understand writing to be? What
do we understand writing not to be? What
do writers do to ensure they are creating their very best work? Only after we have answered these questions
ourselves can we begin to understand what it is we need to teach our young
Here are my best
answers to these questions:
do I Understand Writing to Be?
creative expression of the mind.
way to respond to personal experiences.
way to deliver information that is extremely important to the author.
place to share our purpose about the things we are passionate about.
a difference with the written word.
valued with what we have to say.
with the readers (our audience).
place to ask and answer our own questions about matters that are important to
do I Understand Writing NOT to be?
is not about everyone in the class writing about the same topic.
is not about simply responding to a prompt.
is not only about correcting poorly written sentences.
is not at all about trying to write with someone elses idea.
is not about learning how to follow directions.
is not just about learning about paragraphs, indenting, spacing, etc.
writer brings a unique set of experiences and beliefs to writing. A class of writers can not produce the same
response to a prompt.
is no right or wrong answer.
do Writers do to Ensure they are Creating their Very Best Work?
are reflective…they think about their personal experiences.
have a strong purpose for what they are writing about.
understand their audience.
brainstorm ideas by making lists, webs, timelines, charts, more lists from
talk with other writers.
reread their work several times.
consider their audience when they write.
are observant…they don’t let the world pass them by. When they get an idea, they write it down so
that moment becomes a permanent place in time.
carry a notebook with them to gather ideas.
are patient with their work.
read books from other great authors and think about how they could try certain
writing strategies in their own work.
value their own work.
see themselves as really writers that have something important to say. They know their words matter to their
As you begin teaching
writing this year, ask yourself these 3 questions and make your own list! You may find that the third list makes a
great set of teaching objectives. After
all, we all want to teach our young writers to do their very best!
I’d LOVE to hear your
lists and thoughts! Send me a message
and tell me how you are planning to instill a sense of value and purpose in
your young writers!!
Best wishes to all the writers out there!!