One of the best ways to help motivate your students to write more is to have them write together. When kids engage in collaborative writing, ideas flourish, imaginations run wild, and the class never goes into boring mode. More importantly, the positive atmosphere is liberating for young writers who struggle with insecurities about their abilities. That said, here are some of the effective ways to get your students to engage in collaborative writing.
Pass the paper
Gather the students in one big circle and throw a one-liner introduction of a story, for example, “The princess met the prince at…” Ask the student nearest to you to complete the sentence. Then, have them pass their paper to a classmate seated next to them, letting that fellow add another sentence. This goes on until everyone’s able to contribute a sentence in the narrative.
You can expect a lot of giggles as everyone tries to put more creative, out-of-this-world spins in every idea addition. After the story is finished, ask one student to read everything. If you would want a more modern approach to this activity, use an online storybook creator. This would appeal to your young writers’ inclination to digital platforms, as well as visual learning needs.
Partner up and brainstorm
Another way you can encourage collaborative writing is to put students in pairs when generating ideas. There are two options here. You can either let the students pick their partner or assign one to them. The former allows more freedom, and so pupils will more likely feel comfortable sharing with their chosen partner. On the flip side, however, there’s also the tendency for kids to be too comfortable that they neglect their task.
When you assign a partner, on the other hand, they might focus on the task better, but the students might have not built good rapport yet that they’re uneasy to share ideas. The key here is how you’d facilitate the brainstorming session. Create guide questions on how they can go about their discussion. This will help them stay on track, regardless of who their partner is. Your guide questions should coincide with your writing task.
Publish and party
There’s a morale boost when students know that their works aren’t just made for the classroom, but something greater. That’s why it’s highly encouraged for teachers to let students publish their stories. This will not only enhance their commitment to the craft but also inspire them even more to help their classmates who are struggling to write.
In a sense, the goal to publish unites the students better and inspires them to collaborate more. For this reason, make it a priority for pupils to publish. Involve them in the process of organizing the launch event. Ask them to invite their parents. Celebrate their mini victories.
There are lots of benefits of collaborative writing among students. It motivates them better. It breaks down barriers to writing. It creates a positive atmosphere for budding writers. So take note of these strategies, and you’ll be able to get students to write more, write together.
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