I’ve been rereading Vicki Spandel’s Creating Young Writers: Using the Six Traits to Enrich Writing Process in Primary Classrooms over the last week, in anticipation of the summer that I have ahead of me. Part of it will be spent working with teachers of very young writers, and part of it will be spent working with writers of this age myself. My own daughters’ primary teachers reminded parents that their most important objective was helping kids fall in love with reading and writing. They also knew that providing them with writer’s words, so that they could speak with others about the writing that they were doing and begin to notice the traits of good writing as they read was empowering as well. Vicki Spandel’s thoughts about teaching the traits conceptually are helpful to teachers who are eager to help writers understand that the traits are merely a way of “thinking about writing” that leads to real understanding and meaningful use.
She suggests approaching instruction around ideas in three different ways:
- As imagination and observation
- As pictures in the mind
- As messages
Over the next week, I plan to think and blog about each of these approaches a bit more, sharing out some of the lessons and strategies I’ve used as well as what I’ve learned from the writers I get to work with along the way. I’m wondering where others get their writing ideas from–what inspires you? How do you inspire or prompt the discovery of great writing ideas in others?