If your children or students are asking about why they have to constantly hone their writing skills, it might be important to learn more about teaching kids about reflective writing and how important reflective writing is in the classroom. Once kids get into the habit of keeping a written record of their thoughts, ideas, and opinions, they won’t want to stop! Read on to learn more about teaching kids about reflective writing.
After a busy classroom activity, send kids back to their desk to write about their experience. Point them to word walls that might be around your room, or vocabulary lists of the week – using vocabulary will help them memorize it! Have them pass in their reflective writing after this quiet time of thought, and then follow up with each student in a meeting.
Point out any issues with their writing, and ask them about their opinions expressed in their writing. Encourage them to keep working on self expression and develop their writing skills. Challenge students who might be stuck in a rut with targeted questions and thought provoking comments on their papers.
Even young kids like writing assignments that have to do with reflective writing. Try to get them to practice writing outside of the classroom so that they know to formulate opinions both in and out of the classroom. Below are some age-appropriate ideas that will get kids thinking and writing outside of the classroom.
For very young children, try having them take home a class pet (or plush “class pet”) and writing about their day or weekend that they spent with the pet. What did they do? Where did they go with the pet? What friends, family members, or other important people got to meet the class pet? When students are motivated to write stories to share with the class, they might be more eager to share their day. Motivate them to write using new vocabulary words by sending them home with a list of “awesome adjectives and adverbs” to use while describing their time with the class pet.
For older children, encourage them to write short reflective essays about the information they see on the nightly news or on public television. Assign them an educational television show to watch, or ask them to watch the nightly news. Then, ask them to write reflective essays about what they’ve learned. Encourage them to use their own thinking skills (not those of the parents or siblings watching with them) to formulate opinions to write about. It is important that they explain their opinions while also sharing the facts. Ask them to write about how they feel connected to the news story or educational television show, and to reflect on the most interesting things that they learned.
For students who are reading a play or novel for school, ask them to keep a reflective journal and write about each scene or chapter. They do not have to summarize the events, but rather, reflect on them and describe their thoughts, experience, and ideas while reading and thinking about the plot and characters.
Encourage them to try different writing styles in their writing – a reflective poem, song lyric, or even a bulleted list of ideas might offer some insights to their thoughts, and will challenge them to practice writing in different ways. In fact, if they are up to the challenge, see if they are interested in writing their own short story in reflection of the events of the play or novel being read in class.
Ask them to share their journal entries with others. Instead of just teaching kids about reflective writing, you will also teach them to learn from the reflections of others, and you will also take pleasure in watching them proudly share their work with their peers.