YOU KNOW THE SITUATION.
NOW, APPLY THAT ISSUE TO TEACHING WRITING.
IF WE WERE FACED WITH THIS CHALLENGE, ONE OF THE PEOPLE WE’D CALL IS STEPHEN MERRITT.
MORE ABOUT STEPHEN:
From Play-Doh to Writing
|Created by:||Stephen Merritt, City Year Chicago Service Leader |
(City Year Chicago has been an America Learns Network member since 2005.)
|Topic:||Writing & Revising Text|
|Grade Levels Used With:||Second & Third|
|Arrangements:||One-on-One; Small Group; Large Group|
|Materials:||- 1 can of Play-Doh (See Step 1 below for alternatives) |
- Paper and pencil for your student
- An imagination
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|Situation:||Some of my students would struggle in the writing section. They would say they have nothing to write about and nothing interests them. |
I needed to come up with a strategy to get my students writing about anything.
|Step 1:||I give the students some Play-Doh and ask them to make anything they want to make in a given amount of time (e.g., five minutes). |
Can’t get your hands on a can of Play-Doh?
|Step 2:||After my students finish sculpting their Play-Doh, I ask them to write a story describing their creation. |
The story can be out anything. We just want to get the student writing so that he can continue to practice and improve his skills. Some sample topics are:
If any of your students have a tough time coming up with a topic, prompt them with questions such as:
Use other questions to encourage your students to think deeply about what they are going to write.
All of a sudden, you’ll have a piece of writing that you can work with to help your students continue learning about how to improve their writing skills.
|Step 3:||If your organization uses the America Learns Performance Measurement & Learning Network, the following strategies may help you bring additional value to this activity for your students: |