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At Your Own Pace: A Simple Overview of the Writing Process

Do you have reluctant writers in your class? You can make writing fun by breaking the process into simple steps...
Updated on:

May 18, 2019

at: / Edited by: Umer Idrisi
At Your Own Pace: A Simple Overview of the Writing Process
Can Children Appreciate the Writing Process?

It’s no secret that writing a story is a tough task that many students aren’t fond of.

For sure, you’ve had pupils coming up to you, frustrated with their blank papers, saying that they can’t get anything on it.

Just like any other hard task, the key to making this easy for your class is to break it up into steps. After all, the writing process isn’t a quick event that just magically happens.

If there’s one thing that you want to instill in your young writer-students, it's patience with the writing process.

That said, make it a habit to go through these steps of writing every time you have your session:

Pre-writing

Warm up those brain cells and writing hands by encouraging your class to brainstorm for ideas. Teach students how to create a mind map, a creative exercise wherein they associate as many words as possible to a specific concept. This helps facilitate creative thinking and expands the kids’ "library" of ideas.

You can also do this mind mapping in a group setting. Give each of team an idea, then let them pile more phrases connected to it. In the end, the students will be able to refer back to their map and see which ideas they want to pursue writing.

Once they have the concepts, it’s time to put a structure. Let them create a storyboard that contains the sequence of events in their narrative. If they can summarize their plot in a sentence or two, that's good. It can be as simple as:
“The fairy godmother was so happy about her life until someone stole her magic wand away. Through the help of a magic herb though, she was able to find and fight who stole it.”

Writing

Now, ask them to write based on the ideas and structure they came up with. You can help them start by having a writing prompt. You can think of your own or use writing prompt worksheets. As they write, remind them of the critical elements of the story: characters, setting, conflict, and resolution.

Ask them to describe the personalities they’re introducing in great detail. At the very least, they should be able to explain how a character looks and behaves. Your students must be able to make it clear where and when the story is taking place, as this influences the entire mood of the story.

In terms of introducing conflict, let students choose if it should come from the main character’s attitude, another character, or a setback. The resolution will depend on the main character’s personality and decisions, shaping the end of the story. Remind your class that this is only the first draft and that their goal is to cover the beginning, climax, and end.

Editing

This is often a neglected part of the writing process, especially among young students. But this is very important because it helps your writers spot and learns from their mistakes.

Be reminded that this is a very tricky step in writing, as it might cause feelings of frustration and rejection. The key is editing with them rather than taking the usual route of putting red marks all over their sheets. If possible, do it in a smaller group of students.

Go over each sentence in their story and ask them how they can improve it further in terms of grammar, spelling, and word choice.

Writing is a long, complicated journey. But it can be fun for students if you break up the process into steps.

Walk them through these steps every time you have a writing session so that they can get used to it. As you go along, remind them to be patient with the process.

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