November 29, 2011

Draw... Then Write: Workbook for Reluctant Writers

Struggling to motivate a reluctant writer?
I bought Draw...Then Write a few years ago to use with my English language learners. Since then, it's been great, not only for ELLs, but also for native English speakers who are reluctant to write or just need a little prompt to get the creative juices flowing.

The concept behind Draw... Then Write is simple. Students are given easy, step-by-step instructions for drawing high-interest objects--mostly animals, people, and vehicles. The drawings are so simple that no child will fail and not too much time will be spent drawing at the expense of writing.  The students' drawings become the basis for fun writing activities. Each drawing has writing prompts at three levels of difficulty to facilitate differentiated instruction. The activities range from completing sentences with a choice of preselected words, through brainstorming and writing sentences, all the way to composing complete paragraphs.

I make copies of the (legally reproducible) pages for my students, but the drawings are so simple that I could see a teacher copying them by hand on a whiteboard and prompting writing that way. My Draw... Then Write book is recommended for grades one through three. There is also a version of Draw... Then Write for grades four through six, which I have not used. See sample pages for both books on amazon.

Do you have a favorite way to motivate reluctant writers? Please share in the comments.

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