Using Writing Prompts

Did you know that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age can benefit from using writing prompts? Or did you know that by using writing prompts early in the learning process, the student learns the process of writing more easily? From my experience both of these questions are answers in the affirmative. Children, as young as 4 years old, can work on writing prompts and actually enjoy them. Plus, the use of writing prompts early in the academic career will help the student learn the proper process of writing which will help in later years.

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To start, let’s define what a writing prompt is. A writing prompt is a phrase or title that is used as a starting point for a writing assignment. It is often used in upper grades and in college-level English classes. But why not start the student in kindergarten or first-grade? Because people do not think the child can perform such a task at that young of an age. So with that knowledge one would assume that a writing prompt is only for high-school and college.

However, that is not true. There are many options when it comes to writing prompts. In fact, the earlier a student starts completing a writing prompt every day the easier writing becomes for that student. A writing prompt at the age of 4 does not necessarily mean using words. Sure, some students at that age can write, but really focus on the student drawing a picture depicting the writing prompt. An example of this would be a prompt stating “a tiger in a jungle.” The child would draw a tiger in a jungle, at least how they perceive it. This is a step very similar to writing. It is getting the information out of the student’s brain and onto paper.

Writing prompts in elementary school should focus less on spelling and grammar, and more on, again, getting that information out of the students head. The spelling comes as the student progresses in grades as does grammar. In first-grade the student may use only 1 to 3 sentences. But if done regularly by the time the student gets to second-grade, he/she is writing a correctly formatted paragraph or more. By the student gets to middle-school and high-school and even college, the writing prompt becomes an exercise that is easy and gets the brain moving.

From this you can see, that using writing prompts are a good idea no matter what age the student or child. There are many ways of getting writing prompts from making them up on your own, finding them free on the internet, or purchasing writing prompts for certain age groups. The concept is out there, and more teachers and parents are using the technology to teach writing. There is no down side to this. It works, and continues to show excellent results. Students are learning to write younger and more accurately than before. It is an awesome exercise that deserves more credit and more recognition in education.

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