Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Inspiring Young Writers Through GCTE

I am passionate about encouraging young writers and one of the ways that I do this through my school is to sponsor a writing club for fourth grade students.  I've written about this before in a previous post, but this week I am excited to share my experience with other educators. Candace Meek and I will be attending the Georgia Council for Teachers of English conference on February 22 and 23rd in Young Harris Georgia.  We will be presenting a breakout session on how other educators can create writing clubs at their schools.   I hope that we will inspire many other schools to start writing clubs all over Georgia. 

When I was a young girl, I was inspired to write by my grandfather, Henry Clay Ferree, a writer and reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  He not only reported on events but had a weekly column in which he commented on everything from politics to life in the country.  Occasionally, I would send him something that I had written and he would publish it in his weekly column.  I was thrilled beyond belief to see my work in print!

The young writers that I work with in the writing club are no less enthusiastic.  They write in journals each week and share their work with the group.  We provide creative and sometimes unusual writing prompts to inspire their writing.  The excitement and dedication of these young writers is truly inspirational.  You could hear a pin drop it is so quiet as they apply themselves to the task at hand.  Later, the room is full of laughter and conversation as they share their thoughts and work. The group is always supportive and encouraging of each other. The time flies and when the hour is up we all reluctantly say good-bye until the next week.  How I wish I could have participated in a writing group like this as a young writer!!

The session that we will be presenting to Georgia educators highlights many of the writing activities that we have experienced this year.  You can enjoy the presentation here: 

Writing Club Prezi

As a writer and an educator, I am always looking for the stories that are all around us.  Part of having a writing mindset is seeing the world through the lens of the stories that we all live.  The writing club is a means of encouraging future writers to develop this mindset as well. 

Have you encouraged young writers in some way?  Do you have creative writing prompts to share?  I'd love to hear from you!

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