Reluctant Writer Activity: Draw & Write Story Template
Today, I’d like to share one of my favorite reluctant writer activities – my free, printable Draw and Write Story Template.
Being a reluctant writer is very common in the early elementary grades. Writing is a hard skill! It takes memorization, patience, fine motor skills, grammar knowledge, the list just goes on. So, it’s understandable why so many students go through a period of school where they are reluctant writers.
But, don’t worry, this phase doesn’t have to last long and there are plenty of things you, as the homeschool parent, can do to help.
Why is Practicing Writing So Important?
Learning to write is an essential skill for…well….everything. Think about how often you use writing every day without even thinking about it. Writing your grocery list, sending an email, texting (if we can even call that writing with the abbreviations some people use!), leaving a note for your husband or children, writing an address on an envelope. I mean, we use writing ALL THE TIME. This is why learning to write and practicing writing is so important.
Oh, and did I mention that writing helps with spelling, reading, and building your child’s vocabulary?! So important.
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What If My Child Is a Reluctant Writer?
When children first start writing on their own, it can be frustrating for them and for you. Writing is a hard skill. It requires using a lot of skills all at once and that can be tiring for young minds! There are a few things to keep in mind if you have a reluctant writer at home.
First, keep it short. If your child tires easily when you ask him or her to write (or they get mad, throw a temper tantrum, and storm out of the room at their first mistake…not that that has ever happened in our house…), then be sure and keep the tasks short. Like three or four words short. This is just to start. When my daughter was very frustrated with writing, we would choose sentences that were between four and five words from her favorite book and she would copy them. One sentence a few times per week and that was it.
Second, be consistent. The best way to make writing less frustrating for your child is to help them improve their skill. I suggest starting with writing practice three or four days each week until your child builds up enough stamina to write every day without getting frustrated.
Third, be patient. This is really just a reminder to you, Mom. I know when my daughter never wanted to write (we are talking even on her math papers, which aren’t even words, just numbers!), I would get frustrated very easily. Just try to be patient and give them shorter tasks until you find the length of writing task that is right for them at that point in time. You’ll be surprised how quickly they improve if given a positive experience!
Draw and Write Stories
Another way to increase your child’s desire to practice writing is to make it fun! Letting your child have a hands-on, creative experience with their learning is a good way to increase excitement. My free, printable draw and write story template is perfect for this. Children often love making up stories and drawing pictures. So, let your child draw a picture and then ask them to write one or two (or more, depending on the child) sentences about their picture. If your child is really reluctant to write, then I suggest that you let them dictate a few sentences to you and you write it in highlighter. Then, all they have to do is trace over the written text.
Another reason I love the Draw and Write Story Template is because it gives young children an opportunity to have a choice in what they are doing. Letting young children experience times when they feel “in charge” is so important and this is an easy one! They can draw a picture about ANYTHING THEY WANT! And their story can be ANYTHING THEY WANT! Just make sure you are encouraging of their story and don’t try to correct and improve their story line (I struggle with this).
The download will contain two pages – a portrait-oriented template and a landscape-oriented template. This gives your child another choice!