Web Sites for Teaching Writing

(James Scholar Project)

Compiled By Bridget Carol Marx

To compile this list, I began my searching in the Metacrawler search engine (http://www.metacrawler.com). I used as my search topics childrens writing, writing lessons, writing skills, writing k-12, expository lessons, narrative lessons, and poetry lessons. There were many web pages other than the ones I have listed here, but I have tried to weed out the best ones and the ones that I found truly useful. If you dont find what you need, Metacrawler is a good place to start.

Pages the Children can use themselves:

  1. http://postcards.www.media.mit.edu/Postcards/
    This page lets children write messages for informal purposes and formats and choose postcards on which to write them on. They may e-mail these postcards to other people who are on-line. The recipient is notified by e-mail. They can also include links and pictures on them. I think that this would be useful practice for students communication skills.
  2. http://www.okidoki.com/en/rw/index.htm
    This page allows students to write and submit stories about themselves, pets, sports, and other topics. they can also read other childrens entries. They will get responses, after writing, via e-mail. I found this to be an innovative way to motivate students to write and boost their confidence.
  3. http://www.worldkids.net/katw/katw.htm
    There are links from this page to activities for children which include letter writing projects to sick or injured children and the elderly. There is also an opportunity for creative writing about the pictures that are on the page.
  4. http://www.vsa.cape.com/~powens/kidnews.html
    This is a really neat news page that allows students to read a lot about sports, news, and reviews. It also allows them to submit articles they write on their own. This would be a very interesting way to introduce children to writing for news media.
  5. http://www.write4kids.com
    This is one of the most useful writing sites for children on the web. It has a free library of how-to info, a chatroom for childrens writers and illustrators, writing surveys for kids, and a question board for children to ask questions to childrens authors and receive responses. There is also a link to writing tools for childrens authors including books and addresses.
  6. http://www.comenius.com/index.html
    This site is a great resource for your gifted students who need enrichment in the regular classroom. It will be a little advanced in some parts, but the weekly idiom and fable are great! There are on-line exercises to do with the fable that enrich vocabulary and comprehension. It has a great deal of potential to improve writing with enrichment for style and vocab.
  7. http://www.k14.peak.org/k14/curriculum/writing/
    This page is a starting point for students who want to work on writing. The focus is on creative writing but also offers information on different genres and illustrating tips. This is a great resource of information for your talented writers.
  8. http://kids.ot.com/
    This web site can help students with typing skills by offering moderated chat which is governed by rules. This can also encourage development of writing dialogue. There is also a blank page designated for students submitted stories and poems. Goals are to publish something new every week. Kids can easily and safely manage this site.
  9. http://www.csnet.net/minds-eye/home.html
    This site is very cool! Students try to communicate an original monsters features from an image on their screen to another childs mind using learned writing skills and technology. This is a fabulous site, home of the Monster Exchange Project. Schools and students from around the world participate together to practice communication and writing skills.
  10. http://toonacat.com/index.html
    This site offers many opportunities for students to use their writing skills in a context that they will find enjoyable. It offers a chance to write to Toona Cat, ask him questions, read writing by other children, enter contests, and write stories and poems. It is definitely easy for students to navigate, no matter how narrow their knowledge of computers.

Pages for teachers (lesson plans, ideas, etc.):

  1. http://www.pbs.org/readingrainbow/
    From the television show, this site has activity suggestions to accompany programs that involve writing and print awareness. Site also includes links to writing contests and samples of childrens writing. This can really enrich the reading program if you follow their book lists.
  2. http://www.nwrel.org/sky/Library/Materials_search/Lesson_Plans/Language_Arts.html
    This page contains a multitude of resources on one page. Library in the Sky offers links to additional information as well as a list of lesson plans for the internet, creative writing, limericks, ESL lessons, poems, paragraph writing, descriptive writing, and persuasive paragraphs. There are materials for all grades K-12. This one is one of my favorites! Check it out!
  3. http://yn.la.ca.us/cec/ceclang/ceclang-elem.html
    There are links here to mini-lessons for grade levels K-5 for many different aspects of writing. It includes whole-language experience, vocabulary development, creating books, listening exercises, photo essays, writing auto-biography, spelling, character studies, and grammatical devices. These lessons suit a wide variety of teaching and learning styles and would be useful for almost anyone teaching in an elementary classroom.
  4. http://www.metronet.com/~bhorizon/pum.html
    This is a site of supplemental activities for thematic units you may do in your classroom on Halloween or pumpkins. Writing skills are approached in fun ways that are linked with other disciplines. Its activities incorporate use of higher order thinking skills and the seven multiple intelligences.
  5. http://www.metronet.com/~bhorizon/barn.htm
    This site is very similar to the previous listing but the activities are focused on the story, Barn Dance by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault.
  6. http://www.camli.com/english/writing/camli15.html
    This is a site which refers you to a resource for teaching the process of composition. It is geared for classrooms with computers at a grade level 7-10.
  7. http://www.teachers.net/curriculum/la.html
    This is a curriculum bank of lesson plans for language arts. It includes computer based writing lessons, class newspapers, and published books. This is a truly excellent resource for meaningful student-centered activities. I found a great number of useful activities from this page.
  8. http://www.bhs.edu/wmc/lessons/endanlplan.html
    Not a completely detailed lesson plan, but this is a rally good idea for integrating science, language arts, art, and media skills while working on a project on endangered animals. It includes grading rubric for expository writing for the instructor. If the lesson is not useful for you because of materials, resources, etc. there is a really good base idea here for a possible unit. I like the idea a lot.
  9. http://magellan.edu/catalog/poetry.html
    This site allows teachers or students to enroll in classes from which you can learn about poetry. However, there are some useful ideas which are available to people who are not enrolled. They can be used to teach poetry and its forms, as well as technique.
  10. http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/drama.htm
    This site has many, MANY links for storytelling, drama, readers theater, and puppetry. It has story starters, ideas for writing dramas, and script starters. I feel that this site really has the potential to inspire creativity in the classroom. There are absolutely wonderful ideas for bringing drama into your classroom!
  11. http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/itl/index.htm
    This is part of Houghton-Mifflins page of resources for teachers. This section focuses mainly on motivating students to become more confidant and successful readers and writers. The materials linked from this page are geared toward K-6 but could probably be adapted up for most middle school students.
  12. http://www.thinkingpublications.com/catalog/eleindex.html
    This is another page from which you have to order things to make the best use of the resources, but if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader or download it straight from the web page, you can see free samples that have really excellent ideas for social communication, language, and phonology. I think there are some valuable resources here.
  13. http://www.venus.net/~emery2/wise.htm
    This page introduces an idea from an elementary school that they call W.I.S.E. The acronym stands for Writing is Sharing Experiences. It is a program you can use with your Writers Workshop. It sounds pretty neat, and if you already have a workshop you are planning on using, it would fit in well. I think that it is a good suggestion.
  14. http://www.venus.net/~emery2/writing.html
    This is a site that describes the ideal Writers Workshop from the same elementary school as the previous site. There are tips for success in a workshop and suggestions for organization. It follows very closely with the philosophy of Donald Graves. There are also some links to sample writing from some of the children at the elementary school. If you are thinking about starting Writers Workshop in the classroom, this is a good place to look.

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