Getting reluctant writers writing – part 1

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By Christine Jenkinseducation writer

As someone who professes to enjoy writing and who from time to time, does it for a publishing deadline, I wouldn’t consider myself to be a ‘reluctant’ writer in any sense, and yet when I analyse the writing process, I realise that many of my writing behaviours mirror that of the reluctant writer: staring at an expanse of white, not knowing how to start; daydreaming out of the window; constantly changing words… All of that, without the added pressure of the end of the lesson looming. Is it any wonder that some children seem reluctant to write? If ever you need reminding of how it feels, try doing the task you are setting the children, within the same time limit. You may be surprised how hard it is!

Child writing

It struck me that perhaps our ‘reluctant’ writers, are in fact just writers, experiencing the same problems and emotions as any other writer. I conducted some small-scale research into how reluctant writers in upper KS2 at a few schools perceived themselves. Their responses to the questionnaire they were given showed that the most common perceptions were that they felt they didn’t write enough and would like to write more. Many labelled themselves as slow but keen writers and almost all said their major sticking points were knowing what to write and getting ideas.

As teachers, we need to find ways of identifying the parts they find hardest about writing and offer activities which helps develop in these areas.


Get them talking about being writers

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