Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Blog For Kids Who Want To Write

This month I taught a class on writing to a group of fourth grade kids at an elementary school. We talked about what it takes to make a good writer. The fact that if you want to be a writer you have to spend time writing. Also that good writers come from good readers. We talked about what they like to read and what they need to read in order to be good writers.
Later I was reading Karen Hoovers blog about her experience at American Fork Junior High School teaching students at a writing conference. She did a power point presentation on where writers find their ideas, or How To Become An Idea Factory. It sounded awesome. I’d love to see it. It sounds like the kids really learned from it. She also brought up how to use your senses to get inspiration, as well as music, pictures and memories. I wish I’d been there.
Something Shannon Hale said at the UVU conference has really been on my mind lately. I don’t remember her exact words, but the gist of it is that the writer is part of a team. Book sellers, librarians, teachers, writers… all of them working together to help kids to develop a love of reading. The writer is servant. In the end, the reader is the one who is important. I think we can apply this to teaching kids the love of writing as well. Karen Hoover, whom I just mentioned, and Ali Cross, have taken this seriously and created a blog devoted to helping kids become writers. The blog is called There is a convenient link on my blog, imagine that.
This blog is devoted to giving kids the opportunity to share their work. It also has links to writer’s conferences for teens and writing competitions for kids and teens. It’s a great place for kids to get a confidence boost about their writing abilities.
As writers we are learning all the time. It’s great when we get the chance to share what we know with others, especially when they are the little guys who look up to us and say, “I want to be a writer like you.”


Ali Cross said...

Thanks for plug Cathy!

We're actually having some growing pains already and have moved to another site! Or, are in the process of moving, lol.

But I'll keep you posted :)

That's so cool that you taught a class--and you are right. I think most people who LOVE stories also love to TELL stories. Whether or not we ever sit down to write them, a reader wants everyone to feel the excitement of the worlds they are reading about.

Great blog!

Anji Sandage said...

You might like to try this writing activity -- kids love it!

Cathy Witbeck said...

Anji, thanks for the story bag idea. It's great. Can I add your blog to my list?

Kimberly said...

I love that concept of the writer being a servant...beautiful. One of my favourite life experiences was giving a set of books (James Dashner's, coincidentally) to a young boy and watching him enjoy reading for the first time in his life. He reads voraciously now, whereas before he was only marginally literate.

Anne Bradshaw said...

This is a great post, Cathy. I'm going to check out those sites - Ali and Heather are neat ladies. Children are such a joy when it comes to listening to and reading stories.

Thanks for your comment about "Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest," by the way. Yes, I love that book.

Cindy Beck said...

That was so nice of you to teach kids about writing! And I'm with you ... I would loved to have seen Karen's presentation. Maybe we can get her to put it on YouTube.

Cindy Beck said...

Cathy: Loved your Ukranian Easter Egg. The poppy is so delicate.

LexiconLuvr said...

What a noble pursuit to help kids with a dream like this. As someone who has written since childhood, I can tell you that children crave that belief and encouragement. (Not that I'm an authority.) Way to go!

Rachelle said...

I think this is so cool to encourage kids! I wanted to tell you about an awesome contest I entered at
The Original Scrapbox Check it out and please vote for me, #319 for the cutest craft giveaway. Thanks a bunch!

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