How to Teach Writing: Best Ideas from the Comments

Hands Writing in Class

Image by bgblogging via Flickr

The Dover Coloring Book Giveaway attracted 41 comments full of great ideas for teaching students to write. Some mentioned a specific writing program, while others offered ideas that any of us can use, no matter what our curriculum or teaching style.

This post features the best of the latter: writing tips and tricks for everyone.

Start While They’re Young

Preschooljoy shares an unusual approach for pre-readers:

We’re doing Kindergarten this year, so I haven’t done a ton of focused writing yet, but one thing my daughter enjoys is putting tracing paper over book pages and tracing the words, then asking me what they say!

[Read more from Preschooljoy at Bible Lessons for Preschoolers.]

Karen points out that children can begin to create stories long before they develop their fine-motor skills:

We haven’t done much writing yet. I have my children narrate to me every day, with the expectation that when they are more physically ready we’ll start having them write. Their primary practice in original writing is in writing letters to pen-pals that live in France.

[Read more from Karen at Candid Diversions.]

Lisa takes a laid-back approach that works well with little ones:

My son is young, so at this point we’re mostly just following his interests. He likes to write captions for his drawings and things like that.

[Read more from Lisa at Cheerios Underfoot.]

Read, Read, Read and Write, Write, Write

Michelle says her children learn from hearing good books:

…so far our writing has consisted of notebooking and unguided story writing. I think children learn best from living, so we just read a lot of books. They pick up vocabulary, grammar and articulation, plus a whole lot more from listening to good books — the older books are the best! We download lots of books from and they listen to them for an hour or two every afternoon.

[Read more from Michelle at Patriots of the Republic Academy.]

Katreena shares a great project:

A fun idea we started this spring (thanks to a homeschooling mom) was a Story-Starter jar. I filled the jar with interesting titles and once a week we chose one to write our own story (keyed to my child’s interests/family events, movies, playthings, places, etc.). We took turns writing the sentences, using pre-filled transitional words (or transitional words from a word bank). This quickly became a every day request.

[Katreena didn’t leave a blog address.]

Finally, here’s some advice from William Faulkner:

Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.

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