10 Writing Hacks for Middle School
How do you think good writers come to be? How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
What can get in the way in Middle School? Schools sometimes communicate the opposite message. Instead of practice being seen as a good thing to get better, for many students their essays bleed with red marks meaning
Who wants to deal with that?
In normal writing instruction, if lessons ended up in ER, then the red pen would just be screaming to the doctor, “STOP THE BLEEDING! …Oh, maybe that is an overreaction… I see you just brought in an essay from your English teacher…I thought that was blood…” (So it’s getting closer to Halloween and my wife watches way too many real crime shows…)
The reality, however, is that practicing any skill is stubborn, redundant failure. In any activity, people who overcome and do better, fail, and fail, and fail until they somehow succeed. Sure, some people might be born okay writers, but most are not. And thus, they require a little support and assistance along with the right writing tips to learn how to write well.
But then again, giving writing tips to middle schoolers is simply not easy! Student writers struggle with different aspects of writing, and developing effective writing strategies for students takes a lot of work.
So, if you have no clue how to give writing tips to middle schoolers, we’ve got you!
#1 Use What They Love
Passion is the most important part of writing. So, when giving writing tips, make sure they’re relevant to what your students love. Try to inspire them, and that’s really all they need to start.
#2 Be Visual
When developing a writing strategy for students, you should help them connect with their imaginative selves. And children are usually full of creative notions, so this shouldn’t be too hard. Just help them visualize their thoughts and then eventually pen them into words.
#3 Show Them the Power of the Pen
Another great way to inspire student writers is by showing them the power of the pen. Show them important texts like speeches and narratives that have helped make a difference. Teach them how words have the potential for good.
#4 Help them Identify Strengths & Weaknesses
Even though students might realize that their writing is off, they are not always able to identify what’s wrong. Hence, apart from giving writing tips, it’s also your job to help them identify where they’re wrong, plus what they can do to correct their written expression.
#5 Let them Try Different Writing Styles
Student writers must explore different writing styles before they develop one, so it’s essential to provide that creative space in the classroom.
#6 Give them Time to Brainstorm
Make sure your middle schoolers have adequate time to think about what they're going to write before they get to the actual writing part because that will only make them more excited to not just start but also follow through!
#7 Provide Mentor Texts
A great writing strategy for students is providing example texts of what good writing is, so they can better understand the appropriate sentence structure and grammar rules.
#8 Encourage Reading
Only a well-read individual can write truly well. So, be sure to add reading to your list of essential writing tips.
#9 Show them the Ropes
Before student writers start writing, they must be aware of grammar and language rules. And when giving writing tips for middle schoolers, you absolutely must help them develop a strong grammatical base, so their written expression is always on point!
#10 Write with Them
Sometimes students just need a little push to finally begin writing, and so, if you have student writers that need assistance, make sure you work with them, not just on them.
What’s the Takeaway?
Teaching middle schoolers how to write is a lot harder than it seems. But overall, giving them a strong grammatical base and helping them identify and rectify mistakes along the way is all that's needed. Also, they're already pretty creative, and your writing strategies for your students only need to help them find the confidence they need to embrace their ideas.