Kids want to play video games, watch TV, and romp on the playground. About the last thing they want to do is sit down and write. But you can get them excited about writing with the right approach. Here are a few suggestions:
GET THEM EXCITED ABOUT READING FIRST. You learn to read before you learn to write, so get the kids excited about reading. Find out what interests they have and get them the most exciting books on the subject. If they are in to a certain character on a television show, try getting them some books featuring the character. If they are in to video games, do some research and find something similar. Once you get them interested in reading, the transition to writing will be much easier.
START SIMPLE AND SILLY. Kids want to be silly. If you want them to write, you have to give them a silly payoff. A good way to start is something like mad libs. Find some online or write some of your own. Let them fill in the blanks and giggle about their silly responses. Then help them write their own mad libs with spaces. They can pass them around and have a friend fill in the blanks. Before you know it, everyone is writing and excited about it. From there, you can transition to more advanced assignments.
GIVE THEM SOME INTERESTING CHARACTERS TO WORK WITH. Another good exercise is to come up with some interesting characters. Describe the characters to the kids and then have them write a story using your characters. Kids have extremely creative minds. Give them a little spark of inspiration and they'll usually turn it into something great.
KEEP THE GREAT READS COMING. As they begin to enjoy writing, keep them reading as well. Suggest new books and take them to the library regularly. The quickest way to become a better writer is to become an avid reader. As their reading skills progress, their writing will follow.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO ENTER WRITING CONTESTS. If a certain child's writing is getting stronger, encourage them to enter a writing contest. Help them sharpen the piece so it's really great. Schools, school districts, state-run, magazines - there are any number of organizations that have regular writing contests for kids. Some even have great prizes.
It's no easy task to get children writing. But it certainly is possible. Give them something help to spark their creativity. You'll be amazed at how willing they become to turn off the TV for a change to do some writing.