Practice makes perfect. The discipline of writing every day is widely believed to be the surest way to improve one’s writing ability. Engaging your fifth grade students in daily writing activities can help them improve their spelling, grammar, creativity and overall writing ability. Journaling, responding to writing prompts, completing writing-themed worksheets and inventing original short stories are but a few examples of daily writing activities that can help your students strengthen their writing muscles.
Daily journal writing can help your students sharpen their grammar skills and develop their writing style. The idea is to get your students used to the idea of doing a certain amount of writing every day, whether they’re inspired or not. Some teachers assign daily journals to be written on the student’s own time, then follow up at the end of the week to see if that student completed five separate journal entries. Other teachers set aside a certain amount of class time each day for journal writing. Journal entries can focus on a student’s personal life, school goals, fiction and dreams. Some teachers grade such journals for structure and grammar, while others simply require that their students fulfill their daily writing quota.
Issuing your students daily writing prompts keeps them flexing their writing muscles. Writing prompts are specific questions, subjects, phrases or objects from which students are to draw motivation when writing. An oral prompt, such as “Who is your favorite athlete?” will help your fifth graders focus their concentration on a specific subject. Some students have an easier time responding to writing prompts than they do to open-ended writing assignments because prompts remove the student’s extra responsibility of coming up with their own writing subject.
Worksheet print-outs geared toward writing can be an easy way to make sure your students do a fair share of writing every day. Assigning daily journals and writing prompts requires your students to face a blank page in their notebook, which some might find intimidating; handing out single worksheets can provide your students with quick, less scary bursts of daily writing practice. Writing worksheets exist in countless configurations and themes, depending on your particular needs. Many worksheets require students to read small passages and then answer questions pertaining to the story.
Sometimes the best way to get your students excited about writing is to let them invent their own stories. A daily dose of fiction writing gives your students plenty of practice with grammar and spelling, and may also help them develop a love for writing. By grading and critiquing your students’ fiction work, you’ll help them become stronger writers. Stories can be shared aloud with the rest of the class, or compiled into a collection, which can then be shared with your students’ parents and guardians. The thrill of having their work collected in book form may inspire your students to be even more ambitious when they write their next story.
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