Make Writing Fun

Make Writing Fun
Issue 3 of The Messenger. January 2008

Write, because these things are faithful and true.
Can you imagine the Apostle John’s reaction to this command, if he did not have good writing skills? Of course, we are not likely to be asked to write inspired passages; but most would agree that writing is still a fundamental skill for people today.

Unfortunately, we are not born with the ability to write, and some students just don’t find it enjoyable. Perhaps, as parents, we don’t feel very skilled at it either. Whatever the case, we
can help our students to become good writers. How? First, we need to understand what good writing is.

Really, at its essence, good writing is putting thoughts together in a way that is understandable to the reader. So, to help them be good writers, help your students to think about things logically, and learn to express ideas in an understandable way.

Encourage younger students to tell stories, and praise them for their creativity. When old enough to put their ideas to paper, focus on the content rather than the format, at first. The goal is to make writing a positive experience.

You can also encourage writing by playing word games. A few examples are Mad Libs, and crossword puzzles, but you can make up your own. For instance, how would you describe the sky to a blind person? Or how would you advertise a restaurant, if the words “menu” or “food” didn’t exist? Or how many words can you think of that rhyme with “rug?”

Some parents have found that copying good writing helps students become better writers. Ezra was a skilled copyist, and the kings of Israel were required to copy the Mosaic Law, so why not apply the same principle to our students? Perhaps copying a daily Bible text could be an easy place to start.

As students get older, they should learn good grammar. How can they do this? Certainly, it is important to understand rules of grammar, but consider how children learn to play a game, or perform another activity. Isn’t it by watching others do it? Therefore, to learn good grammar, students should be encouraged to read, read, and read some more. If they read well-written books (such as those published by Jehovah’s Witnesses), they will develop a “knack” for how words are used together, without having to memorize so many grammar rules.

The point, again, is to make words fun, not intimidating. Once you’ve done that, your students will likely enjoy using them—and writing them, too!
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