Five Different Ways to Practise Writing


Getting a child to practise creative writing can be a parent’s worst nightmare. After endless dodging by the child, many to and fro arguments between the parent and the child, often culminating with promises of reward to the child on completing his writing, the child finally sits for the dreary yet necessary exercise. 

The whole experience can be exhausting for the poor parent and uninspiring for the child. On top of that, the idea of practising writing, with the sole aim of scoring high in exam, under a ticking timer and the constant, watchful eye of the parent does not really get the creative juices flowing in the child. Shouldn't creativity be a ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,’ as Wordsworth once said?

That’s right. Writing should not feel like a task. The trick is to make it fun and educational at the same time. Here, we offer you five different and effective ways of making your child practise writing. Let’s get on with the first tip then.

1. Start a scrapbook

Imitation can be a stepping stone to awakening imagination in one. Scrapbooking a stock of handy quotes is a technique vouched for by budding writers. Encourage the child to copy out favourite quotes and fascinating descriptions from literary works. Writing out interesting text stimulates learning as well as creativity in the mind. Remember to ask the child to go through his collection (as a form of reading exercise) at the end of a week or fortnight.

2. Keep a diary or journal: 

Why not gift your child a beautiful diary and help him start on a new literary journey? Inspire the hidden writer in him to record special moments and events of the day. Diary writing can help the child develop unique and personal style of expression. Give your child space and freedom to write as and when he wishes. Starting first as some sporadic entries, diary writing should over a period become a daily exercise.

3. Scribbles and doodles: 

Sometimes writing from scratch can be daunting. To make writing exercise more exciting, take an already existing text and encourage the child to edit, improve or rewrite it. This text could be anything: a short story (many free stories are available on the web), a few paragraphs of a news article, or a work previously written by the child. If you want to create memorable moments with your child, you could write a short piece (story or description) and offer the child to evaluate and enhance it. A reversal of roles will draw the child’s interest and eagerness to re-write.

4. Letter and note writing:

Encourage the child to write letters (or mails) to grandparents, distant cousins and friends. Suggest that the child make cards for occasions like birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. and enclose special messages for the recipient. With these activities, kids can learn how to communicate, socialise and, at the same time, practise writing skills.

5. Storytelling

Spinning a yarn is in the DNA of human beings. The first seeds of creative writing were implanted there. Nurture this inherent gift by making storytelling part of the day-to-day family discourse. From ‘What happened at school today?’ to ‘Why do you like your teacher?’, narration requires creativity, skill and precise vocabulary. When communicating with your child, ask him to describe the people he met, the places he visited and the feelings evoked in him by his experiences.  This exercise encourages children to be creative when describing the setting, characters, and the story as it unfolds. Ultimately, your child will become confident and less hesitant when he actually sits to write. 

So there you have it: some new ideas to help your child to get writing. Which one do you think will work for your child? 

Remarkable Sketches: Volume 10

Local residents raising funds to save their library! The venture is not only extraordinary, but deserves to be told in an unparalleled manner. 

The write-up below by a Year 5 student showcases her talent right at the outset with an intriguing title. The introductory paragraph discloses what has been the source of the entire funds-raising drive. This following middle paragraph establishes the background to the closure and reopening of the library. Each of the rescue endeavours are mentioned systematically; while, the write-up throughout is studded with realistic instances of direct speech. Finally, the happy culmination talks about the consequences of the library being saved for the fortunate saviours.


Remarkable Sketches: Volume 7

A complaint letter to the local council. It’s a detailed explication of the social, health, hygiene related or other hazards that residents of a community are constantly encountering. The writer represents the voice of the citizens. Let’s see how this young child from year 5 has agreeably accomplished all and more of this.

The piece is framed in the proper format befitting a formal letter. It begins with a clear statement of all the hazards being struggled with and goes on with a thorough discussion. To achieve the purpose, the author has utilized a number of tools - compelling vocabulary, effective similes and persuasive rhetorical questions.

Overall, the letter addresses the authorities suitably, gives them sufficient time to administer to the problems and seeks hope in their resolution.

Remarkable Sketches: Volume 4

Presenting the next in our series of brilliant student assignments. This one is an informal letter to a cousin with a project in hand about a child’s life in England.

The narrator/author opens desirably by enquiring about (yes, a whole paragraph dedicated to that!) the wellbeing of his cousin and his family. A tone of perfect cordiality between the kin is set right at the start. However, pleasantly, the excitement of the narrator is sustained throughout the write-up, showcasing him as an involved personality.

The second noticeable aspect is the impressive structure – the neat paragraph division of the letter as one shade about life in England is painted after the other.

The child has also been wise in his selection of unique aspects to discuss about his home city. Almost the entire geography of London is covered with the narrator talking about its north, south, east and west. Recreation, education, culture, lifestyle, politics, weather and more about the city are all touched upon, making the write-up a thoroughly engaging one.