Need a February Refresh? 3 Ways to Celebrate Student Writing

Are your students staring at a blank page during writing workshops? If so, these three teachers share stories of how they motivated their students to write great stories.

1. Write Animal Picture Books
Matthew Winner, teacher/librarian at Ducketts Lane Elementary School in Elkridge, MD, has his students write their own animal-themed picture books this time of year. They start by reading Daniel Kirk’s “Library Mouse.”

“We break down the picture book into a beginning, middle, and end,” he says, “That’s followed by having them do research on an animal of their choice. Animals are an easy hook for them because it’s what they’re seeing in a lot of picture books and most kids like animals.”

His students collect three facts based on these questions:

What does your animal look like?
Where does he live?
What does he eat?
Next, they dig deeper. “They have great imaginations,” he says. “They make up three things about their main character.”

One example was “Piper the penguin loved to skateboard, do tricks, and wished he could skateboard forever.” Once the books are complete, the school hosts an author’s tea where the students read from their books to their parents, teachers, and other students.

Find out more at We are Teachers.

Image source We are Teachers.

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