Writing is one of those amazing things that when a student asks, “Why do we have to learn this?” it’s easy to point out a dozen things they do on a daily or weekly basis that involve writing, plus a few dozen future life and career skills they’ll need that require some kind of writing as well. And yet, writing doesn’t always get the attention it deserves in school. That’s why, every year on October 20th, the National Council of Teachers of English celebrates the National Day on Writing by bringing people across the country together to share #WhyIWrite.
Whether you’re teaching learners how to craft a well-researched argument or how to pare down their thoughts into a 140 character tweet (thoughts that are hopefully also well-researched), you are preparing them to take part in the world. Just as an example, outside of the actual writing projects that I work on, or even the writing I do for fun, today I’ve written emails, text messages, instant messages, social media posts, Google Doc comments with feedback for a colleague, notes for a future project, and more. And I needed to do all of that clearly, concisely and spelled correctly in order to get my point across so my colleagues and I could all get our jobs done.
Writing is a critical skill and the National Day on Writing is a great time to celebrate all that we can accomplish when we learn to write well.
To help you pass on the joy of writing to your students, here are some great writing Workspaces that have been created by Hapara teachers and shared publicly:
Venini Thaver, Tamaki College, Auckland, NZ
This Workspace was created in order to give learners a space to practice their creative writing skills and submit their work for feedback - not grades.
Angela Burden, Balmacewen Intermediate School, Dunedin, NZ
This workspace challenges learners to create a descriptive and engaging piece of writing that transports the reader to the 'Moment in Time' they are describing
Amy Downs, Visalia Unified School District, CA, USA
Hapara Champion Trainer Amy Downs created this Workspace as a full unit of study, aligned to the Common Core standards, that helps 6th graders learn key informational writing skills.
Maria Thomas, Northland College, Kaikohe, NZ
This Workspace was designed to help learners build skills needed to write speeches and give presentations.
Jennifer Thomas Visalia Unified School District, CA, USA
This Workspace walks learners through the writing process for personal narrative writing.
Vaughan Spurdle, Tamaki College, Auckland, NZ
This Workspace offers learners a place to workout their writing muscles with a range of games, activities and writing practices