Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kid Writers Rock!

     Yesterday, I had the privilege of working with some third grade writers to revise their writing. I loved it. Revising is probably one of the most difficult concepts for a new writer. "What?  I have to do this again?" Here are a few observations I made about working one-on-one with young writers:

1) This is the perfect time to model the revising process. Not only does taking the time to do this send the message of how important it is, it's also a wonderful opportunity to show them what to look for.

2) It's a great time to help the writer think about his audience. That's what writing is about, communication.

3) It's all in the details. Sometimes young writers need to have the opportunity to verbalize what they are writing about. You'll be amazed at the creative details and descriptive words that they come up with.

4) Breaking up their work makes it more manageable. "Chunking" is like taking small bites out of a huge elephant!

The bottom line is the one-on-one time is essential to teaching young writers basic skills of revision. You're asking yourself,"Sure, but who has time for that?" Utilize your local writers, parents and grandparents. What about doing a cross-age writing workshops where older students familiar with the revision process help younger writers?

Looking for resources for young writers? Jennifer Jacobson, author of Small As An Elephant, has a blog dedicated to young writers. It is full of ideas and resources for teaching young children to write. She even offers a free newsletter to educators.

In this age of truncated language, Twitter and Facebook, teaching writing is even more important. 

Have you looked into helping your local schools with their writing programs? 


  1. Hmm...never thought of looking into that. You've definitely given me something to think about!

  2. More likely I'll go into the music classrooms and play. But not until my kids are all in school full time.

  3. Communicating through writing is very important I agree.


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