Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teaching Kids to Write - Sentence Order

In my head there is an ideal writing philosophy. Creating an enjoyment of writing is number one. Communicating thoughts and ideas should be the purpose. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are important, but focus on these writing topics discourages kids from writing. Last year I found The Writer's Jungle which validated my thoughts.

In the past I have had my kids write daily. I have given them many varied assignments such as:

Write about what it would be like to be a fish.
Write a letter to a friend or family member.
Create a nursery rhyme starting with the words "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo."
Write a story entitled "Alone on Blue Island."
Write instructions for baking a cake.

After reading and implementing The Writer's Jungle actually not too much changed. The Writer's Jungle is a writing philosophy. It teaches teachers how to create good writers. The philosophy was exactly what I was looking for. It validated my thoughts and gave me the rest of the steps of the process.

It teaches how to get kids to write and then how to help them improve their writing. Sentences such as, The party was fun, become, The clown's rubber chicken turned three flips and then a sparkling big-toothed rabbit appeared.

When my son writes his thoughts seem to rush in like a waterfall. He has so many good ideas, but they are often mixed up. One tip I learned from The Writer's Jungle was to print out the work and cut out each of the sentences. Then let the child put them in the best order. I thought this was unnecessary because it could easily be done on the computer.

On the computer his sentences still seemed disorganized, so we tried the physical cut and paste technique. I couldn't believe how well it worked. Not only did he pick a fantastic order, but he decided to remove three unnecessary sentences. 

Now for writing the kids still write daily, but sometimes we take a break and try some writing exercises. The other big change is that about one week per month is spent improving a paper of the child's choice. In the past we have worked to improve writing, but now I can provide much better feedback. Thank you - The Writer's Jungle.

To see our other Writing Activities please visit our Language Arts Page.




This post is linked to:
For the Kids Friday
Hammock Tracks
True Aim Education


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** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

2 comments:

  1. I love Brave Writer too. I've had The Writer's Jungle for a couple of years but so far I've mainly used tips I get from Julie Bogart on the website, or The Arrow. Thanks for reminding me there's some great stuff in there (I love that about blogs!).

    My son's just turned 8 and slightly dysgraphic/dyslexic, but I did freewriting with him for the first time yesterday and he loved it - kept on writing and writing long after the 3 minutes timer buzzed!

    Lucinda

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  2. What great advice! Writing has always come very naturally to me that I forget that I may have kids to whom it does not come so naturally too and this could come in handy!

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