Children often get frustrated with trying their hand at writing simply because they have difficulty figuring out how to start the process. Whether fiction or nonfiction, they sometimes need a hand in creating the story’s beginning or report.
As a certified Reading Specialist with a Master’s in Reading and Literacy, I’ve worked with thousands of children who doubted their reading and writing skills. Using writing prompts is a great way to lend a helping hand with facilitating the creative juices to start flowing.
What Are Writing Prompts?
There is a good chance you experienced using writing prompts in a classroom or two when you were a child. A writing prompt will provide you with the first sentence of a story you must complete or a general idea about what you must write about.
- As soon as I walked into the unfriendly dark house, I turned on my flashlight and saw …
- I can still recall my first job, which wasn’t quite what I expected.
- Describe a moment that left you feeling like you were on top of the world.
- If I had a time machine, there are definitely a few moments I would change from my past.
- Again, these are just examples; there are plenty more to find online if you need help creating your own.
How Do Writing Prompts Improve Literacy Skills?
When speaking of literacy encompasses both reading and writing. And it makes total sense. People who read quite a bit are good with at least writing mechanics because they have experienced many examples from the reading.
Becoming a good writer does not happen overnight. A person must love to read first, and then, in turn, they will start transferring their reading skills to their writing ability.
A famous author was yearning to write like Mark Twain back in the day. To help him get to the point of becoming like his favorite author, he would not only read Twain’s books over and over, but he would take it a step further. He would sit in front of a typewriter and literally type out entire books that Twain had written. The author thought that would help him develop a pattern more thoroughly that would emulate Twain’s writing. It would sometimes take him a month to do, but he thought this time was spent wisely.
Students will often get irritated and disheartened because they struggle to start a piece of writing. This is where writing prompts become so valuable.
Eventually, the children will have a broader skill set for writing on different themes. It gives them the beginning of the story, or at least the general idea of how to start, and then allows them to take it from there. Plus, it gives them opportunities to write on topics they might not have otherwise. Writing prompts can be created for fiction or nonfiction. They can be used for short stories that are only a couple of paragraphs long or could eventually turn into whole novels.
This will Help Them Focus on the Mechanics of Writing
The mechanics of writing can be taught to anyone. Creativity is something that comes from within. Still, to be a good writer, the mechanics must be correct; otherwise, no one will want to read your material.
Writing mechanics are things such as complete sentences, correct punctuation, spelling, capitalization rules to follow, and organization.
Rather than providing worksheets with sentences to correct, writing prompts will enable children to take it further.
Model Together and Then Set Them Loose
The first few times introducing writing prompts to children, especially kids that struggle with writing, it is essential to tackle them together on the whiteboard or projector for all to see. Show them the steps that go into creating and organizing a story from the writing prompts enough times, and they will be able to do it themselves after a bit.
If you know a child or two that would love to take their literacy skills to the next level, iAchieve can help. We have professional tutors who can meet with children in person or remotely to help them build upon their abilities. Whether the child is struggling or gifted, let us encourage and support them as their literacy talents grow.