The Magic of Storytelling: How Teachers Can Inspire Student Writing

We all love to get lost in a good story and the magic of storytelling is something that will never get old, no matter where you are from or what your age. Through storytelling, we can connect to different characters and cultures, gaining a greater understanding of the world around us, as well as the world that’s hidden inside ourselves.

As a teacher, you can inspire students to use their imagination and creativity to write innovative and interesting stories. Writing can help children to express themselves and harness their English and creativity skills. Below we look at how teachers can inspire student writing and perhaps inspire the next generation of authors.

Provide Writing Activities and Prompts

Every good writer needs to hone their skills through a variety of writing activities and prompts. Sometimes a good writing prompt inspires a whole story, other times it is a great way to have some fun and let your imagination go wild. Writing prompts can encourage students to use their creativity to write a short story or poem around a particular subject, perhaps even one close to their heart. Writing prompts could include a short sentence to get started, an image, or a place.

Different writing activities will appeal to different students, depending on their interests and writing styles. If you are looking for some writing activities for younger students, you may want to try out these Student Treasures 4th grade writing activities.

Start a Journal

Being able to write well is something that takes time and practice. Many students simply don’t know where to start, which is where a journal comes in. Daily journaling is a fantastic way for students to document a part of their lives and get used to writing every day: a habit that can improve their writing skills and memory.

Give all of your students a blank notebook and encourage them to write about their day. This can be something that they do at home or in the classroom but shouldn’t be marked. Allow your students a judgment-free space to harness their creativity. A daily journaling practice has been known to inspire many famous authors.

Read Books in the Classroom

Good stories start from great ideas, and what better way to encourage these ideas than through other stories? As technology becomes more and more prominent in the classroom, there has never been a better time to introduce books into the classroom. You may want to start a book club for children who are interested in reading and writing or read a book together as a class.

Allowing students to vote on the book they want to read will make it more exciting and engaging for them and depending on the age of your students, you may even want to encourage a new reader every day. Through regular reading practice, children can learn new vocabulary that will help them become better writers in the future.

Make Writing Relevant

Teachers can make writing relevant for their students by connecting it to current events and real-life issues. This allows children to see the value and importance of writing and how it can be used to communicate their perspectives and ideas about any subject, not just a story.  You may even want to start a class blog or online newspaper, where students can write about their favorite real-world subjects and share this with friends and parents.

Every child has a preferred way of writing, and using real-world issues could inspire children who are more logical thinkers than creative. After all, logical thinkers make for the best journalists.

Writing also comes in many forms, not just stories. If you have children in your class who are interested in performance and music, you may want to encourage them to write scripts, songs, or try their hand at poetry.

Incorporate Technology

Although it is good for children to get used to writing with pen and paper, this isn’t always the most accessible way to write for students. Students who have conditions like dyslexia may find the writing process frustrating, which can put them off writing for life. Incorporating technology into writing may benefit some students and help them find a writing flow that works for them.

Many online writing tools can help with spelling and grammatical errors and teach children how to improve their writing. Even using an app like Word can make it easier for those with dyslexia to write, as typing is a lot quicker than writing and any words that are misspelled will be flagged by the app’s spelling and grammar tools.

Practice Verbal Storytelling

Storytelling can come in many forms and sometimes the best stories start with a verbal idea. Through the art of verbal storytelling, children can learn important aspects of storytelling that can then be used in their writing. You might want to create a class story, where you go around the room and every child adds an idea or sentence to the story: this is a fun way to spark their imagination, build confidence, and have a good giggle in the process.

Verbal storytelling games like Dungeons & Dragons and Live Action Role Playing (LARP) can make for a great after-school activity for children interested in fantasy stories, writing, reading, or drama.

Play Word Games

To be a good writer, you need to know a lot of words, understand their meaning, and learn new words. One way to encourage writing in children is through word games. Children love playing games, so often the best way for them to learn is through a game that doesn’t even feel like learning.

Word games introduce students to a wide range of words that can be used within their stories and writing. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the right words to describe what’s in your mind, so try playing some word games with your students to improve their vocabulary.

From providing writing prompts and activities to introducing word games into your classroom, there are lots of ways you can inspire student writing as a teacher. When children do write, make sure to encourage them to continue writing and provide constructive feedback that can improve their writing in the future.

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