By Span Glers
Teaching kids has always been very challenging. This is why teachers train to learn teaching methods and strategies that can make them effective tutors. But of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. Engaging children and motivating them to write start in the elementary years and this goes on through high school and college. Somehow, by providing all the basics, some can discover their passion for letters and stringing words to make them good writers later. Good foundation lessons for writing articles matter as these can strongly influence their attitude towards writing as a hobby, passion or career.
Children, as a rule, have short attention span. The younger they are, the harder it is to get and hold their attention. Thus, for teachers to effectively get their attention and keep them interested in their lessons, strategies are important. The best teachers are not the most intelligent ones, but the most creative facilitators of learning who can get them interested, motivated, engaged and hungry for more learning experiences.
The challenge is made more difficult with the advent of the Internet and gaming gadgets that can compete and swallow the kids’ attention from their lessons. The only way for teachers to keep the kid focused in their lessons is to make their lessons for writing articles as interesting, colorful, and dynamic. Depending on the ages of the learners, the strategies can be the same, but the lessons must be adjusted depending on the age and learning level of the kids./p>
• Use video to stimulate their desire to write. Did you notice the fascination of kids with video? Rather than freak out with their addiction to YouTube, use it as a learning material. There is a wealth of instructional materials in YouTube and in other video platforms, find them and creatively use them in teaching some elements of writing depending on their age.
Watching videos can prompt them the desire to use words to express their feelings about what they have viewed. By picking the right videos, the kids’ comprehension can be bolstered while building their vocabulary, text organization and sentence structures. Make the experience as meaningful by giving them choices.
• Dwelling in almost real life experiences. Taking the kids to where the action is through the Internet or video and letting them live the experience by “simulation” can amazingly stimulate them to respond accordingly. If the right feedbacks, interactions and stimulation are done in the process, they can be stirred to feel and build their vocabulary.
If they can be assisted to process their experiences and guided to write it down, it gives them the compellation to share what they felt, heard, touched and saw. It helps them find the words to describe all those sensations.
• Add drama to awaken interest. Kids are naturally sensitive. Given the right video clips with drama and stimulation, they can easily feel the urge to express their thoughts and feelings of anger and pity.
For instance, if you want to teach kids about the price of industrialization, let them watch documentaries of Minamata disease. This was triggered by the mercury contamination of the Minamata Bay in Japan. If you want them to teach about the costs of war, let them see how the hundreds of thousands of Jews were treated and killed with without mercy. Then let them put their feelings into words.
There are many other ways to teach lessons for writing articles to kids in school from the time they can form sentences to college. Do not fight modern gadgets and technologies; use them. The passion for writing doesn’t happen overnight. Expose the kids early to writing and sustain that as they progress in school. With positive experiences from well-meaning, trained and creative teacher, more and more students will be adept at in no time.