Make KS1 Writing Fun With Our Top Tips
“The most difficult thing about writing; is writing the first line.” - Amit Kalantri.
Whether you’re an author on your tenth novel, or a six-year-old tentatively hovering their pencil, it’s certainly true that those first lines are the hardest.
Of course, an ingrained love of writing will help to put some wind in your sails – which is where the six-year-old, as opposed to the novelist, will possibly come unstuck.
After all, writing can seem like an awful lot of effort (especially for little hands!). What will make you want to continue the task, when you’re not even sure that you’ll get any joy at the end of it?
Thankfully, there’s a host of teaching tricks that you can put up your sleeve in order to spark enthusiasm in little learners. We’ve compiled just a few, to help your class become passionate wordsmiths in a mere stroke of a crayon.
1. Write Something Meaningful
It doesn’t need to be their life story (let’s face it, there’s probably only a few years that they can reasonably remember) but every child will have some kind of passion – no matter how small.
Whether it’s a toy they collect, a beloved family pet or a favourite memory, encouraging children to write about something they actually care about will help build much-needed enthusiasm.
If they can talk about it, they can write about it, too!
2. Have ‘Free Writing’ Sessions
When it comes to primary writer’s block, the issue often isn’t what to say – it’s how to say it.
A child may have masses of knowledge regarding playing a clean game of Fortnite (and you’ve heard them chatting enough to take this as fact). However, they may not have the confidence to commit to the spelling, grammar and neat handwriting to turn those thoughts into prose.
To make the process of starting to write a little less daunting, you can instil good creative habits with ‘free writing’ sessions.
No corrections, no marking – just a free flow of ideas.
You can still hold the class accountable by asking them to read their stories aloud or reading the stories yourself to gauge progress. The key element to remember, however, is that the story is not for technical criticism; this is purely a confidence-gaining exercise, where ideas make it to paper.
3. Write For An Authentic Purpose
The children in your class may engage with writing more if they feel it applies to a real-life scenario.
Creating a topical writing task – such as ‘thank you’ letters after Easter and Christmas, birthday party invitations or instructions for playing a favourite game – can make life easier for children who are a little less creatively confident.
They may simply have more to write about if the task leans on a genuine, lived experience.
4. Create A Class Bookshelf
No doubt you already have plenty of books in your classroom already – but this is a little different.
Set a task where the children write their stories (plus illustrations!) and put them inside individual books.
These books don’t need to be fancy to produce – exercise books, or even stapled paper, can do the trick on a shoestring.
Pop the books on a shelf and invite the class to ‘borrow’ what they would like to read from the class library. It’ll make the children feel like ‘real’ authors – and who doesn’t like to be treated like a grown-up?
5. Create Without Commitment
If your class still aren’t confident to get started with their writing, give a non-committal tool a try, like mini dry-erase boards.
There’s no need to cross things out or worry about setting ideas in stone. The lack of exposure makes children far more likely to try – simply wipe away any mistakes and start again.
If only real life could be like that!
How can Mighty Writer help?
Founder Emma Ralph discusses how Mighty Writer can transform your classroom literacy results overnight...