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Children Associate Writing With Grades, Not As a Communication Tool

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

The question "Do you read your work after writing it?" yielded one popular response amongst the young writers at Talking Circles- "Yes in school exams."

"Why do you read your work in school exams?" The answer is obvious. School exams mean grades and performance parameters. Every mistake costs marks. But is writing something that we do only for exams? Don't we write in our everyday lives to communicate?



writing

We use writing as a means to communicate with others on a daily basis. Whatsapp messages, emails, wishes etc. Children too have ample opportunities to practise writing as a communication skill and in the process get into the habit of reading their writing to check from the reader's perspective. Is my intended message coming through? That's a question that they need to be asking each time they write something not just when they write exam papers.


 Is my intended message coming through? That's a question that they need to be asking each time they write something not just when they write exam papers.

While some children take a natural liking to writing and demonstrate their interest by writing stories and poems, a large proportion of children do not show much interest in writing. The reason is simple. They are judged and evaluated based on their writing abilities. It is a no brainer answer to the question why don't children like to write?


Creative writing and writing as a communication skill

Creative writing is a good way to start but it needn't be the only application that a child can work on. Writing a thank note for instance is also writing and in that process you teach your child to be grateful too!


The 'writing' umbrella includes different forms of writing such as:

a) Letter writing- informal letters to friends/family- these could range from letters that simply say hello, invites, narrating an experience, a thank you note and so on.

b) Summary- Let's say your child is reading a book and wants to share a thought about the book with a parent, a friend or a teacher. Writing that thought down without giving the reader the context of the book, is pointless as the reader is not going to understand anything.

c) Picture description: Children typically love looking at interesting pictures. Writing by observing pictures gives them a chance to observe and think. Even better if they can exchange written observations with friends.

d) Writing a response to a story or an article:

e) Responding to a question in the exam: The teacher uses this communication to gauge if the child has understood or not and accordingly grades the child.

f) Writing for self: Journal entries are a great way to get a little practice with writing.

g) List making

h)Writing a thank you note:


writing

In all these applications, the following become super important:

a) Spelling

b) Meaningful sentences with the right choice of words and no missing words

c) Logical order

d) Sufficient detail

e) Punctuations

In order to ensure these are in place, practise in writing is important. Even more important is to read and edit one's own writing.


empathy


Change the perspective towards writing:

Children feel like they are being judged and hence made to feel small. Shift the onus on the reader instead. Encouraging children to read their work to check for the above is a mark of respect for the reader who picks up their writing to read. One can even say a great way to show another person empathy by making sure to write with care.


Encouraging children to read their work to check is a mark of respect for the reader who picks up their writing to read. One can even say a great way to show another person empathy by making sure to write with care.

Feel proud after writing

Just as a child derives joy from having drawn a nice picture or built something cool, it is possible to take pride after having written a good piece that is easy to read and even better possible to enjoy reading.


 

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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club for the 8-12 age group.

NEW!  Writing programs for the 8-12 age group- Young Writers' Club Jr.  


The Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.

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