Regardless of where you teach writing, at home or in a classroom, writing instruction is best done in conjunction with reading through multiple opportunities to hear good writing and to practice writing. Support writing development by modeling good writing, by writing with the child, and by helping the child craft his or her own writing.
Many teachers and parents wonder what students should write about during writing instruction. Make writing instruction meaningful by allowing students to write about things that really affect their lives. Help students think of their own original stories that they can tell based on things that happen in their own lives, or other great stories they have heard, and allow students to self-select their own topics. On the rare occasions when you do provide a prompt to which students must respond (in order to allow students to practice a specific reason for writing), use prompts that let the writer draw on experience and avoid having to have specialized knowledge or a specific experience. For example, "Tell about a great adventure" is better than "Tell about a trip you took to a differnent city." When you discuss ideas, don't be too specific or provide too many examples, which might lead students to copy your examples. Also, be sure to include a variety of types of writing, such as personal narratives, petry, letters, and persuasive essays.
Good writers participate in the writing process. The writing process is not a list of steps that a writer systematically progresses through and completes, but is an ongoing process of reviewing and crafting writing to improve it. This section also provides templates, ideas, and activities you can use to help students in the writing process.
Although hearing good writing through literature and engaging in the writing process is the best way to develop writing skills, some specific skills can also be practiced out of context. This section provides games to practice targeted skills. They are best used in small groups, during small group intervention, or in reading stations. They are supplements to a writing workshop and provide a motivating way for students to practice specific writing skills.