Sticking to your "tried and true" writing prompts can make your workflow easier, but when it comes to adolescent writing motivation, sometimes a change of pace is necessary. Just because last year's class loved what you presented doesn't mean that this year's class will find the same motivation to share their stories.
In today's episode, I discuss with fellow teacher Durell Carter how to help students find their voices and how to make writing fun. No two individuals are the same so we shouldn't approach a whole new class as being the same as last year's class. Mixing up our teaching strategies along with our writing prompts will go a long way to grab the students' attention.
Durell is a big proponent of making class fun and making writing relevant to the kids. While there's still benefit to learning about classic literature, students will still question why they need to study Shakespeare when nobody speaks like him today. Making the work relevant to what's happening in the students' lives is more likely to result in keeping their attention and wanting to finish projects.
We also went into detail about how starting a classroom newspaper motivated Durell's students. Not only does getting published make the students feel important but other students can learn something new from their peers. All of our students have opinions, feelings, and observations that are valid and important. It's our job to help them get those words onto paper to share with others.
Resources from this episode
Essential Question: What would you need in order to setup a student newspaper at your school?
We would love to read your answers! Just comment in the collaboration area below!