10 Articles to Assist with “I Don’t Know What to Write About”


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I recently sat next to a small group of fifth graders who had chosen Work on Writing but were struggling to get started. I helpfully offered up some writing ideas, but each suggestion was met with “No thanks,” “That doesn’t interest me,” “I am still thinking,” and one silent shake of the head.

Do you ever have moments like that, when you are desperately trying to be helpful, but the students aren’t meeting you halfway or you aren’t meeting them at their point of need? I knew I wanted to be better prepared the next time I met with them, so I turned to our website for inspiration. We have a lot to support teachers and students when it comes to writing. Here are the 10 articles I revisited for inspiration. Next time I am met with a stuck writer, I’ll have new tools to help them overcome the paralysis of the blank page.

Preventing "I Don’t Know What to Write About”
Do your students often say, “I don't know what to write about”?  This quick, easy idea will get them writing in no time. 

Writer’s Notebooks: What to Write About
Seeing someone else model how to come up with topics may be just the inspiration students need.

Daily 5—What Do Students Write About During Work on Writing?
Allison shares five options that may help reluctant writers get started.

Generating Ideas for Work on Writing–Five Ideas
Here are five different ideas Jen McDonough uses in her classroom to support students who don’t know what to write about.

Work on Writing—Generating Ideas
Watch to see one way we help writers come up with a topic.

What to Write About: Two Teachers Share
This technology tip can help spark inspiration for writers staring at the blank page.

Thoughts About Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are not the best way to support growing writers.  

Provide Time for Writers to Share
If we are going to ask students to write, we must provide an audience for the work. 

Work on Writing: End-of-the-Year Options
Students will find it hard to be reluctant writers once they see all the possibilities open to them. 


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