Hi, I teach grades 3-8 on a small religious colony. The kids have very limited experience off the colony (no pop culture no tv or videos, no music etc). It’s also very genderized. The kids and I are really struggling with what to write during work on writing. Any ideas on writing topics that would be stimulating for them? We worked on opinion pieces today and it didn’t go badly…






Just an idea . . . I was drawn in to your description of your class. Perhaps if they write about life in their colony to “share them with pen pals in other parts of the country/even world”, it might be a great reflective kind of writing for them. You could relate that to books written about “life-styles different from our own”.

Alison Jacobson

I love this idea. Children can be so sheltered and think all children live the way they do. I think that is great idea to have pen pals and they can write about their life and what they do and everything about them. Then when they get a letter back they can write about what is the same and different from what each other do.

Stephanie Beatty

Wow, that sounds fascinating and challenging at the same time. Do the kids spend time outside in nature? Writing can also be linked to social studies/science/art etc.
Wishes? Dream? Poetry? Family? More opinions. Challenge some of their gender assumptions (as much as you can if the religious doctrine permits) There are many children in the world who live under similar circumstances - do they allow religious music? Maybe they could try their hand at some hymns.
You could model writing about your own school experiences.
Write about books you have read together in class. Hope this helps - keep us posted - I would love to hear more about your experiences.

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