It’s no secret that storytelling helps children develop a sense of story. It’s no secret that oral language supports kids who don’t yet have the mechanics of writing. And it’s no secret that storytelling and oral language allow students to compose writing in a low-risk, often fun way. What many don’t realize, however, is that oral language can support writing throughout the writing process, and that learners of all ages - through adulthood! - can benefit from bringing oral language into the picture. In this post, I’ll share a few activities that highlight the way oral language can strengthen writing instruction. Focused on later parts of the writing process, these activities support revision and feedback. I’ll explain each activity, tell you why I love it so much, and offer tips for adapting each one for different learners.
What are some of your go-to games for writing instruction?
It’s March. If your schools are anything like mine, you are slogging through the remnants of a long winter, all while gearing up for a season of standardized testing. Kids of all ages still need play and fun. I don’t know about you, but my kids always seem to do a bit better when some of each is incorporated into my lessons. I’ll share some ways to bring joy into writing workshop.
If you’re trying to reach reluctant writers with “nothing to write,” pushing students to use craft and voice in writing, or just hoping to make the writing process creative and fun, storytelling may be your answer. Taking the leap is easier than you think!
As the storytelling culture is developed in the classroom, children are likely to begin to see themselves as authors and to use their voices in braver ways to share their ideas and who they are with their peers.
“Let me tell you a story…” are some of the first words that make their way out of my mouth and into the imaginations of students who don’t quite know what to think of me at the start of the year. They come in cautious. In a few days, they will come to school carrying far beyond the simple feeling of cautiousness. They will, many of them, bring with them fear, worry, and anxiety. #TWTBlog
One thing we can do to support all writers, is to be intentional in the topics and story ideas we use as models and mentors. Modeling a wide range of stories and ideas can help each of your writers be inspired.
I've been tinkering with Instagram Stories this summer. I've discovered several ways teacher-writers can use them as a tool for living and storytelling.
Some sit at a keyboard and the words just pour out. Others use a pen and paper, working slowly and deliberately. I know one writer who prefers a typewriter to a laptop.
And then there are the storytellers.
Sometimes the most effective way to help writers leap ahead, is to slow things down and take a step back.
Whether you tell stories with the children in your life, or share stories with other adults, these tips will get you started and keep you going all summer long.
Whether it's storytelling, or shared writing, or interactive writing, any piece of writing that your whole class created together is going to be extremely helpful to have at your fingertips while you are moving about the classroom conferring.