Making Sure Writing is Fun
Writing is communication. Writing is a way to convey ideas, tell others what we’re thinking, share an experience, tell a story, or create a world all our own. When, I wonder, did writing stop being fun? Writing should be fun.
Of course it’s entirely possible that writing for the sake of writing being fun is in the same category as algebra and logarithms. Don’t get me started. But the fact is that remains that strong writing skills remain an absolute necessity in every aspect of life during school years and certainly beyond the classroom. College admission boards, future employers, we all need strong writers. Thus the inevitable question: How do we create them? An even better question is how do we make this oh so necessary skill fun? Because if it’s something students like to do they’ll do it. And the more they do it, the better they’ll be at it.
Writing for a purpose makes writing fun. Give students a reason to write, a bunch of topics to write about, impetus to improve what they wrote last time, and they’ll have fun with writing. They’ll want to keep doing it. You won’t be able to stop them.
Here are a few Grammar Punk sentences an auditorium full of seventh graders wrote. They had about five minutes to get the hang of using the Grammar Punk dice and a few of the cards available from various Grammar Punk programs and this is what they came up with. The dice rolled were: C A 3 and we let them choose one CHARACTER, ONE EMOTION and one LOCATION from the cards. The dice words are underlined, the card selections bolded. They had a blast creating the sentences—you could have heard a pin drop as they were creating—loud laughter and cheers as we read some aloud. Here are just a few of our favorites.
C A 3 | Butterfly Hunter — Serious — Family Reunion
Cassie, a very serious butterfly hunter, can’t go to her family reunion because she knows she will be mocked.
C A 3 | Doorman — Revenge — North Pole
The doorman cautiously guarded the gate to the North Pole because secretly, he planned to revenge the years Santa Claus had left him high and dry.
C A 3 | Tap Dancer — Menacing — Hotel Lobby
Calvin knew, in a very menacing way, his tap dancing would cause the hotel to collapse, so he danced.
Not only were we blown away by the sheer creativity of the “dice words” chosen and the sentences created, we were positively delighted to see that each and every one of the sentences created is an amazing beginning to a STORY.
Writing with a purpose.