Tier Freunde Forum Writing 4 Learning Tips for Writing for Children

4 Learning Tips for Writing for Children

Many parents think that writing in English is an assignment for elementary students in a higher class or even assignments for middle school students. But that is not true. If the child has started learning to write English at the beginning of elementary school, then they will be proficient in writing once they enter junior high and high school.

Dr. Yihuai Cai, Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University suggested that children start practicing writing in English since kindergarten and early elementary school!

How do you practice children’s English writing skills at home? Dr. Yihuai Chai shares the following 4 tips:

  • Search for written material through outdoor activities

Writing English is not only about language skills; it also includes creativity and observation of children about their lives. Children can get writing inspiration from their daily activities.

In America, children at kindergarten to grade 2 elementary school practice writing every week, with topics related to daily life. For example, in addition to writing class activities, they also describe the weather or daily activities. Every week, the teacher will take the students to the zoo or to the park, and ask students to write down their experiences.

Dr. Cai advises parents to take their children more activities outdoors. If children expand their horizons, then they will have more things to write about.

  • Brainstorm with children before writing

Before children start writing short paragraphs, parents can invite children to brainstorm to expand their writing ideas, for example by recalling the details of activities and writing a list of topics and important points. For example, parents can chat with children: “Are there interesting things that just happened? What are the most appropriate words to describe this? “Let the child record or draw important information during this brainstorming process.

The following are two methods to help children think:

1. Let the child describe “five senses”

For kindergarten and early elementary school students, parents can let children describe “five senses” (vision, hearing, touching, smell and taste) to recall all activities. Ask them: what did they see / hear / feel / smell / taste?

2. Remember the key element “5W + 1H”

For elementary school students in the higher classes, parents can help children recall the “5W + 1H” element by writing interesting things, including When, Where, What, Who, Why and How. (link to the 5W1H Writing Tips article).

Note: Children have non-linear thinking, so if they write sentences and are wrong in grammar, then don’t rush to criticize and dampen their enthusiasm. Beginner level students don’t have enough language input and logical abilities when learning a second language. The longer they learn, the more their natural language expression abilities will develop.

Also, if a child’s description of an event is different from an adult’s description, parents should not limit their imagination. For example, if a child says, “I see flowers in a swimming pool!”, Then parents don’t say that there are no flowers in the pool. Conversely, parents must further guide the child (how the shape of the flower, the color, etc.) and encourage the spirit of the child to be creative.

  • Together arrange writing ideas

After doing the brainstorming method in the second stage, it is time to arrange the categorization of ideas. Parents can ask children to choose important details and clarify the keywords.

Parents can even draw mind maps with children to think about ideas.

  • Give an example of the initial sentence

For kindergarten and early elementary students, parents can help create templates/examples of initial sentences, then let the child fill in the points in the sentence with adjectives, verbs and verb phrases that have just been discussed.

If children get enough help in writing, they will be more confident to finally be able to write independently. Using various methods above, parents can provide guidance and assistance at each step, so that children will feel successful when writing step by step and they can improve their ability to write English gradually.

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