Need Help Getting Middle School Students Excited About Writing?
How hard is it to get your middle school child/student fired up and excited about a writing assignment? I feel certain that teachers often struggle to come up with new, fresh, innovative ways to capture and keep the attention of their tween and teen students.
I have the answer you've been searching for.
Well, I don't have it ... I didn't create it or write it, but I did read an excellent book that will change the way teachers and home school parents approach writing with middle school students.
Tyrean Martinson, author of Dynamic Writing (Everyday Writing Volume 1) has authored the perfect book for teachers and parents. This is one book you will want to add to your current curriculum. Martinson offers enough lessons, games, and challenges for middle school writing that her book could replace your current resources for engaging middle school students in dynamic and creative writing.
Dynamic Writing 1 is a full curriculum of writing for one year.
This is what the author, Tyrean Martinson has to say about Dynamic Writing 1:
"Dynamic Writing 1 is available in complete form in paperback through Amazon. Containing 161 Lessons for Middle Grade Students, this curriculum is meant for a complete year of home-school, home-school co-op, or classroom use. Eighteen of the lessons are "double" lessons and may be split over two days worth of time to extend the school year to 179 days with a planned celebration day at the end. Teaching notes, grade sheets, a resource list, and extra writing prompts are included in the text, as well as an answer key at the back of the book for the writing exercises. Within a year, students will study journal writing and essay writing, with short forays into fiction and poetry. Specific instruction in sentence variations, similes, and other writing concepts is spread over the course of the book and reviewed throughout the year so that students can wrestle with these concepts over the full course. "
Now Let me share with you what I have to say about Dynamic Writing 1:
I normally review fiction and occasionally I review non fiction, usually writing craft books for the novelist. When I review a book I like to begin with what I liked about the book and follow that with what I didn't care for.
What I Liked about Dynamic Writing 1: A lot:
What I Didn't Care For: Can't think of one thing I disliked about this book
I like how functional this book is. It has unlimited potential, and can be used by anyone. A teacher can add the book to her school's current curriculum. A parent can use the book for home school lessons. A parent, like me, whose child attends a public or private school, can use this book to help the child gain a better understanding of writing or to encourage creativity.
I absolutely love the journal entry idea and that spelling and grammar are not graded during this brainstorming activity. This encourages the kids to turn off their inner editor and write without all the inhibitions that so often paralyze young writers. This free writing is what will lead our kids to their most creative and imaginative work.
The author gives many easy to follow examples of every type of writing. She provides lists and examples. In addition, Martinson provides examples of how the student's work should be graded.
Her book encourages parents and teachers to help students develop their own unique writing voice and she also demonstrates how to teach more structured writing.
Her journal prompts are amazing. They give the student the perfect push to spread their creative wings.
One of my favorite things about the book is that the author provides a plethora of lists. A list will prevent students from staring down at a blank piece of paper while their mind goes blank on them.
I keep going back to the author's use of lists. She offers a list for everything. List of books. List of books I've read. List of books to be read ... my TBR list. A list of all the books I've read during my lifetime ... last year. A list of books I didn't like. A list of books that had an impact on me. Martinson's variety of lists will enable even the most reluctant writer to feel they have something to share.
I've been praising the author for her fresh and unusual approach to writing for middle school students, but she also teaches basic writing, such as format and useful topics like subject - verb - predicate and sentence variation.
I love that the author teaches students to use concrete words rather than vague words.
The author really makes use of the journal and drawing and other unconventional techniques to pull the vibrant writing out of the students. She uses an abundance of exercises, games, and challenges that require the student to experience sensory perception in a hands on way.
Another of my favorite learning adventures from Dynamic Writing 1, was the author's use of columns and charts to emphasize each of the senses. I used this right away with my son, an 8th grade student. He now understands sensory perception and how to write with all of the senses, not just sight or sound. He has a new appreciation for envisioning and feeling sensations prior to writing his first word. He raves to his friends about this lesson.
I like that the author recognizes the popular use of sentence fragments, but does not use them for this course.
I truly adored the loss of sense journal prompt because my daughter is hearing impaired.
You will reach even the most hesitant, wary or disinclined writer with the use of Dynamic Writing 1.
The author's approach to teaching and learning is above reproach. She offers games, campfire journal stories, timed journals, easy use of time transitions and she makes learning fun and challenging. She does so in a way that ensures the student will remember each assignment and lesson forever, rather than just memorizing rules for the sole purpose of completing an assignment. Martinson's book teaches all of the writing fundamentals and offers oodles of resources outside the book.
I highly recommend this book for any parent or teacher who strives to reach middle school students. This book will teach the joy of writing, creativity and individuality while never failing to expound upon the integral components of writing.
Does your middle school aged child or student need extra encouragement for writing? Do you want to inject passion into a student's writing? Then you can't go wrong with Dynamic Writing 1 by Tyrean Martinson. Buy it now at Amazon.