Writing is a scary task for students because it is partly a single-minded activity that calls for a lot of serious thinking and partly due to the overarching focus that has being placed on teaching writing as product and not process. Donald Murray, a writing theorist of grand calbire, is unequivocal on this, in his Write to Learn , Murray emphasizes the importance of teaching writing as a process. For him the problem with teachers of writing is that they are trained as teachers by studying a product and when they are teaching writing to their students, they basically focus their attention on what students have produced and not what they might have done.
Worse than that, teachers employ all their autopsy skills to dissect students writing and in doing so they confirm students feeling of lack of self-respect for their work and for themselves. Instead, when teaching writing as a process , teachers pump life into writing and make it full of vivacity and the ensueing natural result is a product worth reading.
Another cause of students writing crisis is related to the new learning habits these students have developed via technology. With the pervasiveness of social networking websites and the excessive online socializing teenagers thrive only within groups which is the case even when they are playing games. This team-oriented mindset is highly reluctant to engage in single-mined activities like for instance writing. However, writing is not always single-minded but it can also be collaborative and engaging using technology. Check out Teaching Writing through Technology to Learn more about this approach.
Another way to get students engaged and motivated to write is through storytelling. Students are always excited to write about their own personal experiences and about stories that are part of their immediate environment. In this regard, I am sharing with you a great poster featuring some awesome rules on story telling. Check it out below