Why The Over Use Of Writing Stimuli & Book Planning Could Be Damaging Children’s Writing Potential.

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This post was originally written in 2016.

I should start out by stating quite clearly that this is not an article advocating for the removal of stimuli or book inspired writing projects from classrooms. Instead, this article will reflect on what contemporary writing research is telling us about how these dominant writing practices may need to be adjusted to be at their most successful and meaningful (Young & Ferguson in press).

We begin with some wise words from Donald Graves, writer, teacher, researcher and thinker: ‘children want to write’ (1983 p.1). However, the provision of cross-curricular topics or stimuli for writing in schools could be inhibiting children’s desire to write and the quality of the writing they produce. Children are failing to realise that they can do more with writing than simply imitate or produce ‘writing to order’.

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