Pairing Writing and Hands-On Activities
Sitting down to write an essay for English class can cause a youngster to feel angst-ridden, and the process can even feel boring to many young writers. The blank, white screen or page is often overwhelming in itself, aside from the assignment at hand. The anxiety over writing for other classes is often compounded if history, science, or even math are less desirable subjects for the student. So, why not make the process more interactive? Students who prefer hands-on learning, or learning by doing, creating, and experiencing are often referred to as Kinesthetic learners. While learning styles is a debatable topic, many people feel Kinesthetic activities can bring learning to life–when the usual curriculum is mostly visual or auditory–and can be a welcome way to shake things up for your student writer.
Perhaps a circuit board flying saucer is a STEM project that could encourage (or even trick) your child to write a technical, how-to expository paragraph. Imagine a biography that doesn’t have to be boring for your student to read since he/she can bring the time, culture, and comrades of a prominent historical figure to life by creating a one-act Reader’s Theater production and actually star in the leading role. And lastly, imagine if your students could “cook” a volcano in science class? Move over Mario! Instead of reading about volcanoes or viewing a film about them, why not create a two-column video/audio script for a cooking-style show on creating one’s own homemade volcano? By integrating hands-on projects along with writing assignments, you allow your child who may prefer hands-on activities to find his or her writing voice.
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