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Engage Your Writers with Think, Draw, Write!

Boost Writing Engagement with Think, Draw, Writing

It is important to find ways to make writing engaging in any grade level. But, those formative years of early independent writing may be the *most* important time to engage your students in the writing process! I have found that one of the simplest, but most impactful ways to engage students in the writing process is to change the theme! 

Keeping the directions and activities in your writing center and whole group teaching limited to just a few activities a year is great for primary students. They don’t have to learn an entirely new routine each time you introduce a new activity. But, if you repeated the same activity over and over again throughout the year, that certainly wouldn’t be engaging. So, swapping out the theme by season is a great way to make activities your students know and love feel fresh! 

If you’re looking for how to engage your writers, virtually, check out this old blog post. It includes ideas on how to use the Popplet app.

Think, Draw, Write!

Think, Draw, Write is the routine of asking students to first consider a prompt by thinking about it. You can extend the thinking piece as students get older into more of a ‘brainstorming’ process where students jot down the key points of their writing. But, for primary students, I think it’s more than appropriate to simply ask them to think about their answer to the prompt! This preps them for more formal brainstorming down the road, without overwhelming them! 

After students have taken a minute to think about their response, they can then sketch a quick picture to answer the prompt. Allowing students to draw can do one of two things:

1.) Drawing can engage reluctant writers. Writing reluctance often comes from the idea that a student is not ‘good’ at writing. Getting students to draw a quick picture opens the doors for you to discuss with them what a great story they have to tell, even without them having to write a single word!

2.) Allowing a bit of drawing with writing also can give students who have ‘busy minds’ to focus in on one main point. It can be difficult for early writers to take thoughts and put them into written form. Drawing is the perfect bridge!

Finally, students will write. Now that they have a picture to describe, coming up with the words runs a little more smoothly! 

How to Use Think, Draw, Write

Think, Draw, Write prompts can be stapled into a packet and put into a writing center. Or, you can use these as quick writes during morning work, or at the beginning of a writing block! 

Because each seasonal set comes with 24 different prompts, you can create one booklet of prompts, and leave it with students for several weeks at a time before you need to prepare a new one! 

Where to Find Think, Draw, Write

You can find all of my Think, Draw, Write prompts by visiting my TPT store. The pictures here showcase my Winter Think, Draw, Write prompts, but you can find these for any season! Or, purchase the year-long bundle to save yourself some money! 

And if you’re still working hard at developing other foundational skills for your readers, check out this blog post. It’ll give you ideas on how to work on letter names and sounds, while kids are learning to read and write.

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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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