Why do you teach your students to read and write? Is it because they are outcomes in the curriculum? Or, do you see the benefit of these skills within the classroom and beyond?
You may ask: What does it matter the reason I teach those skills as long as I teach them? Maybe. I would argue though that your approach would be different depending on your ultimate goal.
This week, challenge yourself to find an authentic reason for your students to write. Not an assignment strictly for the purpose of handing it in: a real writing experience. For instance, have you had a guest speaker recently? Ask students to write a quality thank you letter or card. Is your Demonstration of Learning approaching? Ask students to write a letter to their parents explaining what they’ve learned this term. Use these real life situations to teach appropriate format and content.
Mem Fox put it this way: “Giving unreal writing activities to our students is about as useful as giving occupational therapy for stroke victims to people who are in perfect health.” Well said.