My ideas come from everywhere—the landscape, something I hear on the radio or from a book I’m reading.- Melissa Sweet
Something I didn’t realize until I started this project is that ideas are included in that big polka-dotted umbrella step of the writing process called prewriting, and that the gurus consider prewriting to be the place where you spend most of your time in the writing process. I should have realized this considering how much time I spend reading enticing words over and over or composing introductions to blog posts in my mind while running in the rain. This is the stuff of prewriting… Never have I successfully sat down to write anything by first listing what happened at the beginning, the middle and the end. From here on out when I refer to ‘prewriting,’ I am including the concept of ideas (for writing).
We want students to discover a writing process that works for them. What are some of the different ways that we can share with them about the process of prewriting?
- Show students how to use a writer’s notebook: Record details from their lives, make lists of topics they are interested in, ask questions (what if…?), write down favorite words or lines from a book, make a timeline of events
- Write with them
- Give opportunities to take photographs or sketch ideas
- Share examples of how authors and illustrators go through the creative process: For example, David Wiesner talks about how he get the idea for Art & Max and An interview with Melissa Sweet
- Encourage them to talk with us or their classmates/ friends about something they want to write
- Provide them with HELPFUL organizers (not mandated ones)
- Read, read, read, read, read, read, read!