5 Ways to Make Writing FUN!

When most kids think about writing in school, they think, "Ugh!!" In the past I have worked with students who complain that there is too much writing or that their hand hurts or that there was no point. I started brainstorming about my writing instruction and practice. I came up with these creative ideas to help keep students motivated about writing.


Interactive journals are a great way for students to interact with the material being taught, so why not bring that into writing? My students are always eager to work with their interactive journals and become excited about the material. Lifting up tabs, writing, drawing, and sharing with their peers keeps students engaged, which leads to learning.

Click here to look at my Conventions of Standard English Interactive Journals or click on the pictures.

Another way to have students interact with writing is to have them manipulate the material with their hands. For example, in this long vowel word work, students were learning different vowel team patterns to help them with their spelling and writing. In this activity they sorted the brightly colored picture cards into the correct vowel team. Students were excited to manipulate and interact with the material.

You can find this Long Vowel Team Word work by clicking here or on the picture.
Interactive Journals

Another way to make your writing interactive is to have a real life activity tied to it. Writing about making peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in class! (or use almond butter or Sunbutter to be safe for students with allergies.) Are you writing a personal narrative about a time you played nicely at recess? Take your students out for a quick recess as a brainstorming activity.

Whatever the writing topic is, there is a way for students to interact with it. Be creative and fun with it!


Students often wonder, "Why does this mean?"It is important to expose students to new things, as educators, that is what we do. When teaching writing, it is important students are focused on learning the writing process by using experiences they have has already.  Have students write about topics they can relate to.

For example, writing about How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is important because students will need to know how to write directions for someone one day. Also, most of your students have witnessed an adult make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before. They can relate to it, so it will increase interest and engagement.

You can look at these How-To Writing activities here. In my store I have four different How-To Writing packets including How To Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, How To Grow a Flower, How to Make a S'More and How To Make a Pizza. You can save by purchasing the How-To Writing Bundle.

All of these topics are topics that students can RELATE to and makes writing FUN!

Make it USEFUL 

"Why does this matter?" It matters because.... (fill in the blank.) There are hundreds of reasons why writing is important. As students move through their school years and into adulthood they will face the challenge of expressing themselves through writing. As we take on the technology age, writing is at its peak of importance. This matters because one day you will need to fill out a job application, because you will need to write a letter to a business colleague, because you will need to write directions for a friend. Writing matters and students need to know when and why they will USE this type of writing.

Spelling is important part of writing and needs to be practiced. While my students were doing the above Long Vowel Teams Word Work activity, I explained to them why this lesson was USEFUL to them. (Knowing common spelling patterns will help improve your writing and learn new words.) (You need to know how to spell correctly when you reach higher grades and while you are working later in life.) Done. They understand why this was a USEFUL activity and it became fun and exciting.

The above example shows a student writing directions for How To Make a S'More. This activity was useful because writing steps and directions is a skill adults use. You can find this activity by clicking here or by clicking on the picture. Check out the Bundle to receive four different How To writing activities!


Creativity is one of my favorite things to see from my students. It is important to allow students to still be CREATIVE in classroom, it makes learning more fun. When writing, allow students the chance to be creative. Giving students a specific topic with certain thing they HAVE to write about isn't allowing their creativity to shine through, and isn't always the most fun. Letting students have a choice will encourage their creativity which will increase their engagement.

Teaching personal narratives, paragraphs, or vocabulary use? Allow students to choose their topic. Above is an Autumn writing activity that gives students the opportunity to choose their topic and begin their CREATIVITY. You find this writing activity in my Autumn Math and Literacy Centers by clicking here or on the picture.

Another example of allowing creative writing is while teaching grammar rules or different spelling patterns. During this writing activity students were practicing spelling by using Long Vowel Teams in sentences. Students were allowed to be CREATIVE in their writing and choose the words they wanted to use. You find this activity and more by clicking the picture or by clicking here.

Make it a STAR EVENT

Students LOVE to show off their work because it gives them a great sense of accomplishment. When students want to feel proud of their work, they work harder to achieve an end result to be proud of, which is a great motivator for us teachers. I always let students know that they will be publishing their work, which in turn, makes the writing assignment FUN!

As part of the writing process, my students publish their work. During this time they can read their writing and share their illustrations to their classmates. Writing and illustrations are displayed in the classroom as a constant reminder of the hard work they have done. Allow students to share their writing and illustrations. The end result is always impressive.

Before publishing their work, students need to edit and revise. Explain to your students why this is useful, important, and a skill they will use as they become an adult. Practice editing and revising becomes exciting because it is something they need to do before they can finish their STAR writing.

I hope some of these tips and tricks will help you and your students make writing FUN! Let me know how you use these ideas in your classroom by commenting below.

Happy Writing!


6 Ways to Use Sight Word Flash Cards

Sight words and high frequency practice is crucial to any child's reading at any elementary level. A great way to teach sight words is through flash cards. Sight word flash cards are great because they come in different levels, which is prefect for differentiation and growth. As children master one level of words, they can move onto the next. These quick and easy FREE sight word flashcards have worked great in my classroom!  Click here or on any of the pictures to scoop up your FREE sight word flash cards!

Here are some ideas of how you can use them in your classroom or at home. Let me know if you have any other ideas!

1. Informal assessment tool during small groups or one on one.
Students love practicing sight words and reaching the next level (or color) of sight words. During my small groups, I spend about 2-5 minutes quickly flashing the cards to quickly assess each student and their sight word recognition. It is a quick easy way for me to assess if they are ready for the next level or if they need to stay at their current level. There are two ways I have done this in small groups before.

1- I flash the sight word cards to an individual student while other students in the group are practicing, or
2- I go around and each student gets a sight word flash card they must read. The second way works better for a squirrel y group.

2. Partner; read to self or read together.
For students who need more practice with their sight words, this can be a great activity for read to a partner or read together. Pair students who are on similar levels. It may be a good idea to have one of the partners one level above the other partner, that way they can correct errors. The level below them is always a great review!

3. Memory sight word game.
My kiddos LOVE this one! They cannot wait to finish their work so they can play sight word memory. The only prep you need to do it copy TWO sets of each list and color code them. I like to laminate for extra durability. Have students play the traditional game of memory. This allows students to master their sight words by be able to read them quickly. If they are unable to read the word, they cannot get the match. Again, this game can be leveled to allow for differentiation in your classroom.

4. ABC order.
Another fun game for students to practice their sight words and build fluency! This activity can be done during centers either independently, with a partner, or with a small group. Putting words in alphabetical order helps reinforce letter recognition and practice for dictionary skills. Knowing the order of the alphabet is an important skill your students will use later in life.

5. Independent reading.
Some kiddos will need extra practice with their sight words. Instead of practicing decoding or working on fluency for independent reading time, sight word practice is a good option. It is nice to switch around the activities that students participate in during independent reading. One day can be practicing a certain phonics skill, another day is working on fluency and expression, and another day can be practicing sight words.

6. Send home for homework.
Parents are always asking what they can do to help their child read at home. SIGHT WORD PRACTICE! Along with reading each night to practice decoding skills and improve fluency, children NEED to learn to recognize high frequency and sight words. Having the leveled flash cards are a great way to differentiate for homework. Once students pass or move along to the next level, they receive the next step of sight words.

You can grab some free sight word flash cards here!

Happy Sight Wording!

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