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How to Motivate Students to Write During Summer

Janelle Cox

Oftentimes when the school year begins, teachers spend most of their time reviewing information from the past year. While some students don’t need this review because they kept learning going all summer long, other students still do.

Instead of spending a great deal of time reviewing skills, many teachers decided to send home a summer learning packet filled with creative writing ideas at the end of the school year. This way, students can keep their learning going all summer long at their own pace. Here’s how to motivate students to write during summer that you can include in your summer packet. Remember to remind students to bring it to their teacher in the fall.

How to Motivate Students: Summer Writing Journal

Before the school year lets out for summer vacation, have each student decorate a composition notebook anyway that they wish. They can design it on a computer and print it out, or they can use art supplies and draw and glue anything that they want on to the cover of it.

Students are encouraged to write in this journal every day of vacation. What and how they write in their journals is totally up to them. They can write a few sentences or a few pages. It can also be used with summer writing prompts. Have students paste a list of writing prompts into the inside of their journal and each day they can choose to pick a writing prompt or write about their daily experiences. Here are a few summer writing prompt ideas.

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  • What is your favorite summer activity? Write about one thing that you love to do. Remember to write a beginning, a middle, and an ending.
  • July is National Picnic Month. Write a few paragraphs describing the ideal picnic for you and your family. Be sure to include details such as where it would be, what you would eat, and what activities you would partake in.
  • Pretend that technology like iPads, computers, and smartphones didn’t exist. How would you spend your summer vacation? Write a few paragraphs describing what you would do without this technology.
  • August is National Inventors Month. Write a brief paragraph describing a new invention that you created. Make sure you write about how it can be used and why it is needed.
  • If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go and why? Write a brief paragraph describing the place you would travel to, why you would go there, and what you plan on doing once you get there.

Student Summer Blog

Children love technology and when they get the opportunity to use it to learn they will jump! Kidblog is a great way for kids to continue writing throughout the summer as well as stay connect to their peers and talk about what they are reading and writing. Encourage students to blog daily or even weekly about what they are reading, or what they have been doing. Tell them to pose questions to their peers to get the conversation going. Instruct them how to ask and answer questions appropriately. For example, if someone posts about a new book that they read, one could respond by asking would you recommend reading it and why. Be sure to set your expectations and boundaries for blogging before they leave for summer vacation.

Writing Bingo

Sometimes all students need to get a little motivation to write over the summer months is to play a game. The challenge of a winning a bingo game may be just the thing that they need to inspire them. The goal is to complete one row on the Bingo board each week. Here are a few examples of the items that you can put on each square of the bingo board.

  • Write a story about your favorite television show.
  • Write a letter to your friend telling him about your favorite animal.
  • Write a brief summary of your favorite book.
  • Write a story about a rabbit who is allergic to carrots.
  • Write a brief paragraph about a noise that you really dislike and why you dislike it.

Write Your Own Story

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series by Jeff Kinney has a book titled “The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book.” This book is a great way for reluctant readers and writers to really get a chance to read and write something of their own. There is a lot of humor in Jeff Kinney’s books, and students will enjoy creating their own comics and stories in this book. If they are not into the Wimpy Kid books, then they can create a book of their own. All they need is a pen, paper, and their imagination and they will be able to create their very own book.

If students continue their learning throughout the summer months then their reading and writing skills will not be lost to that dreaded summer slide. If you find that students are very reluctant to continue their learning during the summer, the best advice that you can give them is to at least write a few sentences in a daily journal.

Do you know how to motivate students to write during the summer months? Do you have any tips or tricks that you would like to share? Please feel free to share in them in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the elementary education expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or visit her website at Empoweringk6educators.