I often tell my students “good readers write and good writers read.” In my opinion, writing and reading are inseparable. The connection between reading and writing is essential to a child’s literacy development. Teachers and parents can nurture a child’s imagination through writing. An article in The Science of Learning affirms the importance of writing for children, stating that writing “remains an essential part of educating students of all ages, including adults.”
Books can provide an impetus for writing. When children discover books they love, it offers the potential to extend their world far beyond the piece of the earth they live. Librarians, teachers, and parents should strive to make certain children encounter these books. One specific genre of books I love to introduce to children is poetry. Through poetry, children learn to express themselves in a creative way. Most children love to read and write poetry. Consider infusing poetry writing with journaling.
Journal keeping provide great opportunities for children to write poetry and/or to express their thoughts through writing. These written reflections can remain private or shared. Children can write in their journals daily, weekly, or as often as they wish to record an entry. However, unless it’s a class assignment, children should choose the type issues that are important and of interest to them. Keep in mind; some personal experiences of people have become famous books, such as the journals or diaries of Anne Frank, Lewis Carroll, Harry S. Truman, and Virginia Woolf. While some people may not aspire to become a famous writer, journaling can provide an insight into one’s life later on in history.
Encourage your child/student to journal today. Make it a family or classroom endeavor. I hope that children will appreciate journaling as a creative process—experiencing it as an enjoyable routine instead of a dreaded family or class project.
The book recommendations below are books I used with my 4th and 5th grade book clubs. My students loved these stories because they included humor and poetry, while the characters embarked on journeys of self-discovery through the power of words. These “oldies” are short reads; read them together as a family or class.
Do you have any recommendations for great books to encourage journaling or poetry writing? I would love to hear from you.
For Your Eye Only by Joanne Rocklin
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
Thanks for stopping by and I invite you to join me again as I continue to explore literacy topics and issues affecting children.