Teaching The Writing Process

Is it important to teach the Writing Process?

To a child who asks, “What do I write?”, the answer, “Well, JUST WRITE!” doesn’t help.

Children need to be taught how to write. Having a sound knowledge of the writing process will help your child and students work towards creating a great piece of writing.

Writing is a complex task which can befuddle many adults, let alone children. In order to tackle the seemingly huge task of writing, the best way is to break it down into smaller manageable bits.

Stages in The Writing Process

Stages in the Writing Process

1. Planning

Also known as the pre-writing stage, this is where writers brainstorm and research for ideas for their writing. Some prefer to jot their ideas down in points while others make use of mind-maps to organise their ideas.

2. Drafting

After the planning stage comes the writing of the first draft. Here, students write their ideas in an organised way. The technicalities of grammar and spelling are usually not as crucial here as compared to getting the storyline out.

3. Revising

When the first draft is completed, students revise their draft by reorganising and correcting their contents. Students add or delete details in this step to improve their draft.

4. Editing

This is where the technicalities of grammar, punctuation and spelling are taken into consideration. Any errors are to be corrected here. In classrooms, teachers may provide opportunities for students to help edit one another’s drafts. However, in most primary schools, this stage is done mainly by the teachers.

5. Publishing

When errors are being corrected, and the writer is happy with it, the final piece of writing is usually shared with an audience. In class, students’ writings are sometimes being displayed on walls and notice boards, published as class stories or in class blogs.

We will discuss each stage in relation to the process of writing compositions in Lower Primary classrooms.

How to Apply The Writing Process in Lower Primary Classes?

Ideally, students should be taught the writing process and be given time to go through each stage in class. However, due to time constraints, this seldom happens.

These are some ways that teachers can apply these stages in their composition writing lessons

1. The Planning Stage

What teachers can do:

Discuss the pictures (or topic) for the composition with their students.
Get the students to brainstorm and generate ideas on what to write, in the form of an introduction, body, conclusion and resolution.

The teacher then jots down students’ ideas on the board, in point forms or through mind-mapping.

2. The Drafting Stage

What teachers can do:

Get students to refer to the ideas being jotted down on the board, and write their first draft.
Remind students not to stress over spelling and grammatical inaccuracies here. The important thing is to get the story on paper.

3. The Revising Stage

What teachers can do:

Get students to exchange their first draft with one another, so that each student is reading another student’s draft.

Students to jot down ideas in their classmate’s first draft.

When each student has his first draft returned, make changes to their draft with reference to their classmate’s comments and suggestions.

4. The Editing Stage

What teachers can do:

Mark students’ revised first draft.

Correct students’ grammatical and spelling errors.

Give additional comments and suggestions for improvements.

5. The Publishing Stage

What teachers can do:

Return the marked scripts to the students.

Get students to rewrite their stories, correcting any grammatical and spelling errors, and making changes according to the suggestions and comments.

Once the final draft is completed, get students to read their story to the class.
Display the completed writings on the class noticeboards or publish them in the class blog or newsletter.

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