Recently, I read an article written by teacher, author, poet and playwright Michael Morpurgo. He wrote about why schools should move away from teaching writing through a grammar-focused approach and, instead, encourage creativity and children’s love of reading and writing. I believe Clicker can help in this mission! Read on to find out ways that Clicker can empower students to express their thoughts, develop ideas, and discover the joy of writing.
For some children, starting with oral storytelling is much more fun - it can enhance creativity and confidence! We have many Talk Sets to inspire storytelling, such as Fantasy Creatures and the story settings sets. We also have many Talk sets related to well-known stories which encourage students to retell or adapt a story they have heard.
Using a stimulus helps to inspire writers to be more descriptive and sparks imaginative ideas. Many of our Clicker Boards contain pictures and information to start discussions and aid the generation of ideas. For story planning, try out the various Before and After sets - they have illustrations that represent the middle of the story and children can discuss, write, or record descriptions of what led up to and followed the event. Our Story Step Boards encourage students to think about the steps that connect two pictures of a story. For younger children this could be a simple sequence of events; for others it could form the outline of a story plot.
We know the feeling of success is a huge motivator. For some, writing a whole story is daunting and a challenging task. Our story writing Connect Sets offer a structure and ideas, while giving the writer control over the details and construction of the story. These sets enable students to write a whole story within a manageable number of sentences – this success is sure to encourage them to write another story!
Blank page syndrome is very real for many writers, but Clicker can hopefully help to avoid it! Before asking students to write a story, browse through LearningGrids. We have many Word Banks that can be open at the bottom of the document, offering students inspiration and support to start writing the story. These sets may also introduce new vocabulary and increase confidence.
Let’s increase enjoyment and success by ensuring the level of scaffolding and support is personalized to the writer’s needs. Clicker’s Document has many word processing tools that can be activated or deactivated. The predictor and spell checker tools offer extra guidance and might increase the writer’s pace and flow. The speech feedback can help with the detailed editing of the story. This reflects how good authors write – start with creativity and then focus on the grammatic details!
Try out some of the above suggestions and watch as your writers’ enjoyment and creativity grow. At Crick, we also hope to inspire story writing through this year’s Summer Story Share competition. Encourage your students to write an adventure story on the theme “If I could go anywhere...” We look forward to reading their stories, and hopefully your school will be a winner of a $300 gift card!