Many effective strategies can improve writing for children in elementary school, here are six.
- Model good writing: Children learn from example, so it’s important for teachers and parents to model good writing skills. This includes using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as organizing thoughts into coherent paragraphs or essays. (Olinghouse & Graham, 2009)
- Provide feedback: Children need feedback on their writing to improve their skills. Teachers and parents can provide specific, constructive feedback that focuses on both strengths and areas for improvement. (Bangert-Drowns, Hurley, & Wilkinson, 2004)
- Use graphic organizers: Graphic organizers, such as webs or maps, can help children organize their thoughts before writing. This can improve the quality of their writing and make the writing process less daunting. (Coiro & Dobler, 2007)
- Encourage revision: Writing is a process, and revision is an important part of that process. Encouraging children to revise their writing, rather than simply correcting mistakes, can help them improve their skills and become more confident writers. (Graham & Harris, 2013)
- Use technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for improving writing skills. Word processing programs, for example, can help children with spelling and grammar, while digital storytelling tools can help them practice narrative writing. (Labbo & Reinking, 2010)
- Provide choice: Giving children choices about what they write can increase their motivation and engagement in the writing process. For example, allowing children to choose their topics or genres can help them find writing more enjoyable. (Gambrell & Morrow, 2018)
Bangert-Drowns, R. L., Hurley, M. M., & Wilkinson, B. (2004). The effects of school-based writing-to-learn interventions on academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 29-58.
Coiro, J., & Dobler, E. (2007). Exploring the online reading comprehension strategies used by sixth-grade skilled readers to search for and locate information on the internet. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(2), 214-257.
Gambrell, L. B., & Morrow, L. M. (2018). Best practices in literacy instruction. Guilford Publications.
Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2013). Handbook of evidence-based writing practices. Guilford Press.
Labbo, L. D., & Reinking, D. (2010). International handbook of research on children’s literacy, learning and culture. John Wiley & Sons.
Olinghouse, N. G., & Graham, S. (2009). The relationship between the writing skills of students with ADHD and the complexity of their written language. Journal of Writing Research, 1(1), 1-23.