10 Ways to make every child a writer

Schools are often too quick to deny pupils their opportunity to speak through writing. Then they say, “Why won’t these children write? What can we use to motivate them?” Phil Ferguson and Ross Young, authors and national writing representatives for the UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association) write in Teachwire.

Schools consistently overvalue their topics for writing and undervalue the subjects their children are moved to write about given the chance.

Some teachers even believe pupils are too culturally deprived to have their own knowledge, experiences, thoughts, opinions, stories, reflections or interests that they are motivated to write about.

Research indicates that it’s wrong to deny children their voice for two reasons. First, it negatively impacts on their desire and motivation to write. Second, it’s instructionally a mistake because children write best when they are experts in the content of their writing.

Finally, if we’re not teaching children how to turn what they are moved to write about into something they can share with others, then why are we teaching writing at all?

If you’re reading this thinking, “But they won’t have anything to write about,” then what you really might mean is that they won’t write about things you think are worthy, culturally sophisticated, legitimate or relevant.

They won’t write about things you can control or have reference to. It’s a shame you might think that because you’re missing out!

Read the full article and a number of strategies for encouraging children to share themselves and their lives through writing. 10 Ways to make every child a writer 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Learning, Primary, Secondary, Teaching and Training.


  1. Patrice Baldwin

    Being actively involved in whole class Drama can give children plenty to write about (content) within a myriad of contexts within which to write. They can be writers within a drama, with highly stimulating reasons that they need to write for different audiences. I have written books on this and for several years ran courses with Pie Corbett on ‘Talk and Drama for Writing’. Some schools in the Drama for Learning and Creativity research project (D4LC), chose writing as their focus for improvement through drama. See, ‘Inspiring Writing Through Drama’ and ‘Teaching Literacy Through Drama’. I am now running working with groups of schools on Drama for Thought, Talk and Writing.

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