“I don’t know what to write!”
If so, I’ve got you!
Some kids can stare at a blank page and have no clue how to begin to write something.
Before beginning to write, kids benefit from discussing what they might write about. They need to toss around some ideas with someone. I can’t remember who said it, but I’ve been told, “If you can speak, you can write!”
Depending on what they are writing, kids will need to do some research, or at least will benefit from gaining some inspiration. Research and inspiration can come from books, movies, and “field trips” to museums, gardens, trails, beaches, etc!
Before deciding on a topic, brainstorming can help get the ideas flowing. I find that a lot of the students I work with benefit from me being their scribe, writing down all of their ideas for them, so they can just focus on thinking!
An alternative is to have them use Voice Typing to get their initial ideas out. This can help the be more independent in the brainstorming step. However, they’ll need some training in how to take this “brain dump” and pull out the pieces they need from it.
After a brainstorm, your child should have a general idea of what they want to write about. Using a graphic organizer such as the Flow Map or Tree Map by Thinking Maps can help kids organize their thoughts with relevant details.
Similarly, you might train your child to use index cards, bullet points, or another type of outline.
During all of these steps, your child might benefit from you being their scribe, so that they can focus on the thinking part. (No, this isn’t cheating, you’re just accommodating your child. Just remember all the rich bosses who used to dictate everything to secretaries who did all the actual writing for them! And now voice typing is so common that your child will always have access to a scribe!)
What do you do to support your kiddo in generating ideas for writing?