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Teaching writing | Simple writing ideas

by | Mar 6, 2017 | Reluctant or Struggling Writers, Teaching Homeschool Writing

In Why Is Writing So Difficult to Teach? I promised you some good news, and here it is: writing doesn’t have to be a tearful, hair-pulling experience! Plant a few seeds by trying some of these simple writing ideas, and soon your children’s and teens’ papers will begin to bloom!

1. Establish Limits

When you set limits—such as giving step-by-step directions for the writing project—your children will feel more secure in their efforts. Provide concrete help by way of checklists, brainstorming worksheets, or skill-building exercises.

Even something as simple as limiting composition length allows the reluctant writer to admit, “OK. I can write five to seven sentences.”

Teaching Writing: Three simple writing ideas to encourage reluctant writers

2. Expand Skills

Start by introducing students to the thesaurus so they can choose more vivid, descriptive, or concrete words. As they make stronger word choices, not only will their vocabulary improve, their writing will begin to sparkle as well.

The Synonym Finder is our favorite thesaurus for grades 6 to adult!

As a side note, our very favorite thesaurus is The Synonym Finder. [I’m sharing this affiliate link because I know you’ll love this thesaurus!] Entries are alphabetical, so it’s easy to use. Plus, it’s the most complete thesaurus we’ve found.

If you only have a junior thesaurus on your bookshelf, it can frustrate your kids because they may have a hard time finding entries for the words they use. The Synonym Finder, on the other hand, is comprehensive. They’re sure to find just the word they’re looking for.

In addition, teach your students to incorporate grammar concepts into their writing. Are they learning about prepositional phrases or appositives, for instance? Require them use one in a current composition.

3. Mix It Up

If your kids’ writing diet consists mainly of boring book reports, add some variety!

Descriptive Writing

Descriptive lessons help students use their senses to zoom in on details when describing a food or describing a place—the crunch of golden leaves underfoot; the rich, buttery aroma of sugar cookies browning in the oven; the mournful howl of a winter gust as it whips through barren branches.

Informative Writing 

Also known as expository writing, informative writing can include biographies, news articles, recipes, advice columns, short reports, instruction manuals, and more. As students get older, introduce persuasive essays and research papers as well.

Narrative Writing

can take students well beyond the mundane memoirs of last summer’s vacation. Kids can have so much more fun with their writing when they interview someone and write a narrative of that person’s emotional experience. Or, they can retell a simple fable or fairy tale from the perspective of one of the characters.

For additional variety, introduce personification by asking them to write a story from the first-person point of view of an object. “I Am a Mirror” or “I, Weed-whacker” can inspire some lively prose!


Poetry adds a rich layer to your kids’ writing diet. Writing haiku poems, creating diamantes, and playing around with figurative language make it fun to learn about poetry.

>> Let’s Write Imagery Poetry!

Now that you have some simple writing ideas, take time to understand more about teaching the steps of the writing process. Check it out and learn how to use the writing process to set your kids up for success!

WriteShop Homeschool Curriculum

WriteShop curriculum will not only teach your child how to write, it will show you how to teach homeschool writing.

All WriteShop products offer schedules, tips, activities, lesson plans, and checklists that help you effectively teach the steps of the writing process and edit and grade your children’s work with an objective eye.

This post contains affiliate links for products we’re confident your family will love! We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and may earn a small commission for recommendations or links to any products or services from Amazon.com.