Experienced writers find that words are easy to put on a page. They have found their voice or personal style of writing, and have definite ideas about what they like to write about and how.
WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!:
Children who are experienced writers think about their audience, or whom they are writing for. Sometimes children in this group become bored by having to write the same things. They need to be given opportunities to write in different genres or styles. Instead of always writing stories, have children write a screenplay, write and illustrate a children’s book, write a newspaper article, or put their ideas into a Power point presentation, or start a family newsletter. Help children realize that they can be a real benefit to their family, class, and society with real and meaningful assignments. Give them guidelines, then Watch out! They will take off with the idea, perhaps in an unexpected way!
As experienced writers EDIT, have them read through their writing projects, asking themselves, “Is this clear? What questions would my audience have?” Have them bounce ideas off a friend, for clarity. Challenge young writers to eliminate duplicate words and teach them to use a thesaurus. Children in this group should not be afraid to take pen in hand and mark up what they have written. They know this is part of the writing process and that critical editing will benefit them.
The key here is to FINISH! Experienced writers love to start stories, but sometimes have a hard time finishing them. Encourage children to complete their stories by giving them a purpose such as hosting an “Author’s Event”, where each child shares his or her finished story. Help children SPARKLE by giving them a forum, or “real” place, to show off their writing: a school newspaper or family newsletter, etc.
- Know their voice and how they write best
- Have ideas and words flow easily
- Are able to write with greater detail
- See the cause-effect relationships between things
- Like working on their own projects and stories
- Know that words can bring happiness, can hurt, or persuade others
- May not want to share their work with their peers for fear of being judged by them (They fear other’s opinions of their work.)
- Can think clearly about their past, present and future
- See that their actions can affect their future
A year ago Kay was nervous to share her works with others—fearing their judgment. Now, after using the “Writing Traffic Light” process over and over, she has gained confidence as a writer.
Kay has two or three projects “in the works” at all times and has discovered that for now, she likes to write fantasy using castles, adventure, elves, etc. Her vocabulary in her stories demonstrates that she is also an avid reader. She no longer fears printing out a page to then rearrange it and to mark it up during the EDIT step. Kay’s final projects are longer, mostly text and are dotted only with an occasional illustration.
She enjoys writing different things, including screenplays, mysteries, essays, or even creating a web site. Kay likes to write for real purposes, knowing that people will be affected by her writing. She is not intimidated by writing an article for a newsletter or paper.
She enjoys writing with and for friends, getting their input, writing a story together, or having them help edit her work. Words come easy for Kay and through the “Writing Traffic Light” process she has learned to use her inner voice and finds meaning in her writing. She has also learned that her stories can bring happiness and amusement to others. She has also discovered that her words have the power to persuade. Kay likes to read her stories and papers to others.
Kay fills her writing journal with things that she wants to use in her stories. She is interested in how the author chooses to worked things and collects plots, characters and setting ideas. She loves to write and start stories, write poems, or copy down lyrics to her favorite songs and questions she ponders.