Kids are rarely thrilled over writing activities. Considering the countless monotonous writing practices they often have to do, we really can’t blame them.
Like it or not, kids are always looking to be entertained. Putting pencil to paper calls for engaging oneself—imagination and all—and meaningless essay topics aren’t the best stimulus. Ergo, it’s up to teachers to devise purposeful yet fun and creative writing activities for young students.
How to Make Writing Fun for Students
The key is never to snuff out your students’ creativity, as it could discourage innovation and kill all motivation. We wouldn’t want that. Secondly, it’s good to include diversity in these assignments. Mix it up, get their brain juices flowing!
By making writing feel more meaningful and purposeful, students feel motivated to write about things that they can relate to and be inspired by. Here are several writing activities that your students will enjoy.
1. Write Letters
The first way to give reluctant writers an original purpose is to establish an audience for them. Assigning homework, as usual, can get real dull fast and maybe even cause tunnel vision in children. On the flip side, working on real-life letters for relatives, friends, or whoever can teach them the standard format of writing a friendly letter.
2. Write a Comic Book
Integrate some visuals in your students’ writing with a comic strip! This engaging activity will improve their mindset and self-esteem as they grow with the characters they create. Provide a comic strip template where they can draw their own, alongside speech bubbles and annotations.
You can teach children how to use their senses to describe details and express themselves to readers through the story. Take a character who is wealthy, for instance. Instead of claiming outright as such, teach them to portray the character as luxuriously clad who lives in a lavish mansion.
Be sure to guide your students on the story planning beforehand by doodling a quick storyboard sketch. That way, they’ll have a sense of the flow of the story and what each square should depict. Display the finished comics for the class to enjoy!
3. Ad-lib a Story
Next, try making a group activity out of writing a story. You may pair your students or assign them into groups where they must collaborate to fill in a story:
Once upon a time, there was a boy called __________. He had a __________ and they went everywhere together. One day, they decided to ______________ but the clouds seemed too __________.
There are great worksheets with blank stories accessible online, and you’d be surprised about the things kids can think up from simple sentences. Once they’re done, get them to take turns acting each character out in front of everyone.
Another way to carry out this activity is for the children to write alternate paragraphs or sections of a story. Give clear instructions on the concept, such as including similes and metaphors in the text. Alternatively, you can teach them to keep in mind the story’s beginning, middle and end, and how they can play around with these sequences.
After one student has written their part, they can pass it on to someone else to continue and vice versa. Sit in a circle and share the finished products!
4. Retell a Chosen Story
As an English educator, you likely have a list of read-aloud texts at the ready. How about including your students’ writing in that compilation? Ask them to pick a favorite book, be it a picture book or novel, and narrate the story’s integral plots in their own words.
Children may not always be natural writers, birthing one original piece after another. This fun activity can give them a head start and encourage them to source ideas from elsewhere.
Plus, being able to sign their autograph on written works and have them treated the same as your read-aloud list sparks accomplishment. And, in turn, motivation.
5. Rewriting a Story
Also an exciting method to prompt creativity, kids can write alternate endings to their chosen books. Recreating a story’s end takes the pressure off producing an idea from scratch while still posing an opportunity to hone writing skills. Your students could propose a sequel as well.
Ask them questions like:
- What didn’t you like about the current ending?
- If certain events were different, would it have resulted in a different outcome?
- Did the main character get what they wanted from the journey?
- Which characters could’ve had more development? Could they warrant a more prominent role in a sequel?
- What other lessons might await the main characters?
- Where do you think they all end up after the last chapter?
6. Scriptwriting & Role-Play
Obviously, we don’t mean Aaron Sorkin grade scriptwriting. Imagine that! What teachers can do is allow students to come up with realistic stories with simple dialogue. Guide them to present their character’s behavior, traits, and intentions through the spoken word.
Role-playing will undoubtedly help. Have your kids act out the dialogue, changing voice tones and mannerisms accordingly. It’s good practice to see how writing could sound or seem to a larger audience rather than on paper.
Last but not least, have your students keep a journal. One of the most straightforward writing activities in the book, journaling helps to improve their writing skills. If not a traditional journal, then a digital one.
The key here is for kids to learn the importance of self-expression. Whether it’s happiness, anger or even boredom, letting them appropriately express these feelings is essential. They may choose to draw or include pictures and stickers if they please.
Make time for your students to share their journal entries with the class—something as unornamented as what they had for breakfast, how they got to school, etc.
Who knew there were so many ways to incorporate fun writing activities alongside regular curricula? Don’t be afraid to fine-tune these exercises to suit your students. When done right, they’ll be up and writing in no time.
Up next, check out some engaging activities to warm up your online class!