What to Do When They Don’t Write Anything in Upper Elementary
When my brother was in the fourth grade, he had a sort of writing paralysis. Every time he started to write something, he thought it wasn’t good enough.
He didn’t think he had enough to say about any topic, so he just sat there.
The rest of the class would start writing, and he’d just sit there.
The teacher stood over his desk, demanding, “YOU WILL WRITE SOMETHING!”… and he just sat there.
He was stuck. And beyond being stuck, he was embarrassed.
This isn’t how it has to go. And if it goes like this, I can guarantee that kid isn’t going to write a thing for you. How do I know? Because my brother didn’t write a thing for that teacher.
Do I understand her frustration? OH, YES! We’ve all been there, when we feel like we’ve done everything we can to help a student and they just refuse to write!
But that approach just didn’t work.
Before you say, “Oh, they’ll spend ALL their time drawing and none writing”, let me explain. A quick sketch is not a drawing. And it is definitely not a masterpiece. It is quick. And it is sketchy. I used to tell my kids it was a “ten-second sketch”, even though it definitely takes a little longer than that.
- The Framework of Writer’s Workshop
- Components of Writer’s Workshop
- Minilesson Planner
- Steps in the Writing Process
- Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
- Think Aloud Sentence Starters
- Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
- Conference Log
- Personal Editing Checklist
- Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place