In the past three years, I have worked specifically with fourth grade writers.
Those of you who live in Texas know that 4th grade+writing = OMG!!!
(But we'll save this for another post.) :)
Writing must begin with getting the writer involved....
Well, we have to make writing meaningful, personal, and free of criticism. Once the trust is there, and the joy is obvious, we can discuss technicalities (grammar).
We start by sharing our stories, the experiences we have in life. Try this, if you have a reluctant writer, start by telling your child a story, any story...and then from there let them know that it is something you would like to write down, because it is important to you. Show them how a writer, writes...
Let me tell you a quick story about my family (inspired by the photo above).
My family, my paternal family. They come from the southern most part of Texas, so far south, that you forget you're in Texas! A place where you can eat taquitos every day. Not the taquitos that come frozen, fried, and stuffed with shredded beef, but taquitos - little tacos. Tiny, imperfectly rounded corn tortillas, two of them stuck together, with fresh carne asada diced on top, a pinch of onion, a pinch of cilantro, extra cotija, and don't forget the lime! That's where my family is from.
I know from the classroom, whenever I shared a personal story I had hands stabbing the air, the eagerness to share was overwhelming. This created a perfect opportunity for writing, for sharing.
*Always, always, give them time to share what they have written. And if they don't want to share, wait until they are willing. :)
This is one way, one thing to try with your young writer. More ideas to come! Your comments, testimonies, and feedback are always loved and appreciated.