Getting Kids to Write Who Hate to Write

Thinking About the Reading/Writing Process As It Applies..

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How many of us as students have had to write as a punishment?  There are usually two outcomes to this scenario:  the first one is more obvious, especially with the younger students.  Writing used as a disciplinary tool has the unfortunate consequence of teaching the student to dislike writing, as it soon is seen as boring and mundane, especially when coupled with repeating sentences.

Then there is the unlikely other outcome (which I personally was a “victim” of):  “playing” the victim because that is the role assigned, but deep down actually getting a sense of enjoyment from the writing task as punishment (unless it truly was copying five hundred times the same sentence or something close to it), because I really loved to write, in all its forms.  As a punishment, to me, that was not a biggie.  I wonder sometimes how many other “me’s” there were and are out there who fall in this category.

Frankly, I wonder how much this task/punishment is still being employed in classrooms.

Writing is a precious commodity because it is THE TOOL used in measuring depth of knowledge across the curriculum, in formative and summative assessments and as a beacon for the highest achievement by colleges and universities, medical schools, government agencies and potential places of employment.

Should we not then begin to find other ways outside the traditional, to access the potential students (like the little girl above who hates writing), may have?  To know the little girl, as her teacher does, means to know that one of her very favorite things she loves is music and singing.  How can her teacher use what she loves to help her begin to like writing?  Then, how can the teacher use that to get the little girl to maybe start getting her homework done?


One thought on “Getting Kids to Write Who Hate to Write

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post. I cringe at the thought of making students write as a form of punishment. At times, I see teachers make students write apology letters that some students painfully struggle through. I think it might be nice if the child could choose a different way to apologize if writing isn’t the way they want to go. Btw – I laughed at the thought of you enjoying your “punishment” of writing 🙂


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