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 http://writersuniverse.blogspot.com/. 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.”