Helping kids find an audience for their writing
I’ve been thinking about the importance of giving our kids a wider audience for their writing. After all, if they only write for an audience of one—whether parent or teacher—they tend to write for that person’s benefit alone.
But if we want our students’ writing to improve, shouldn’t we also encourage them to find opportunities to share their stories, poems, and essays with someone other than Mom?
Benefits of a Wider Audience
Having an audience takes your child beyond the point of writing for a grade. Why not start thinking of ways to broaden his understanding of what an audience can be?
Help him experience how others can find pleasure in reading his work. He’ll be rewarded with increased joy and confidence, and I think you’ll begin to see his writing blossom as he takes more pride in his efforts.
Think Inside—and Outside—the Box
When Debbie and I taught WriteShop classes, we always ended the year with a parent tea. The students recited poetry, and we passed out class anthologies. As the children pored over the stories and poems in their spiral-bound booklets, it was clear how much they enjoyed seeing their works in print.
But an anthology is just one of many ways to publish. I want to challenge you to think outside the box, too! Here are some other suggestions for expanding your kids’ writing audience or showcasing their writing projects.
- Turning writing assignments into art projects or mini books to share with others
- Mailing or emailing final drafts to grandparents
- Newsletters or anthologies (think homeschool support group or co-op class)
- Writing contests
- Student readings for a parent night
- Audio and video productions of student essays
- Your personal or family blog, such as Feels Like Home
- An older student’s own writing blog, like Justine’s Awesome Writing Assignments and Kaja Wrote
So help your children look for new ways to share their work with others. Once their writing pieces get published—whether in traditional or nontraditional ways—they’ll begin to grasp what it really means to be an author!
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