As kids, we’ve all experienced what it means to write an essay. From choosing a topic to understanding what exactly we know about it, to penning it down on the paper, the entire process has a quite a learning curve initially. The essay writing format for kids has undergone some changes over the years, and your child may require some help to get the grips of the situation by themselves. Writing an essay in itself is one of the first creative challenges any child faces in a curriculum that is highly focused on the logical, scientific and mathematical angles. In such cases, children find themselves in an open pasture with no idea which path to take, where to proceed, and what exactly to say.
How to Teach Essay Writing to Children?
When parents and teachers alike wonder about how to teach essay writing to weak students, it is generally because of being unaware of the basic tips one needs to know to begin writing the same. Here are some handy ones you can employ to help your child write one.
Before writing anything down, one needs to know what exactly they’d like to write. The points that need to be covered, the flow and the structure, needs to be clarified before words can actually be formed on paper. In brainstorming, you can teach your child to make use of mind-maps and start forming associations between the theme and any ideas or words that pop into their head. As more and more ideas start forming on the map, these can then be arranged in a logical flow that makes sense going from one idea to another. Once the structure is in place, building on those points and expressing them, in brief, is all it takes to write an essay.
The only aspect better than writing your own ideas is to find newer ones out there. Not all topics can be creative or opinion-based, and even those might require a certain amount of integrity and research to take place. By teaching your child how to research intelligently without browsing on the Internet for random articles, they start developing their thought process and begin answering the questions they have by themselves. Referring to popular quotes or news articles in an essay can strengthen the facts it carries, making it more true and well-read for the teachers themselves.
If writing once is tough, rewriting it to fit certain criteria is even tougher. Editing, however, forces your kid to focus on that which matters most. Stripping away all the flab and keeping only the most important items is necessary for making an essay concise, compact, and not be boring. Editing can also be a starting exercise as well. Give your child existing essays from different books and ask them to edit them down to a concise level. This will give them an idea about which points are the most important and help them save time when they are thinking about their own.
4. Practice, And More Practice
Nothing can teach essay writing better than essay writing itself. As with any discipline, the more one practices, the more one gets the hang of it. While practising, your child will learn to start thinking ahead. While they are completing a section about one point, their mind will automatically be thinking of the next section and formulating points for it. This not only helps maintain a strong structure of logical thought but helps save time during examinations or competitions, that might go waste in thinking blindly without knowing where you’re headed.
5. Keep It Fun
All the practice, all the tips and tricks, all the mind-mapping is absolutely pointless if your child starts hating the very idea of writing an essay. Pushing them constantly to write better and write faster and write and write will burn them out of any ideas or any zest to express an opinion on paper. Just as creating an essay is important, so is consumption and brewing of ideas, too. Let your child take a break from all this. Let them engage in other activities that take their mind off of it. The brain continues to function in the background unknown to us. So that when they return back to the essay with fresh eyes, they will begin to see ideas and patterns that weren’t evident before.
Essay writing is easy for a few kids but quite a challenge to most of them. Governed in a curriculum where there’s only one right answer, most kids cannot see the open creative aspect of writing an essay which allows you to express your thoughts and opinions in the manner of their choosing. The point that there is no “correct” answer for an essay, but only the best answer, is something many children and parents take time to wrap their head around. With constant practice and an open mind that is curious and eager to learn more, essay writing will soon be one of the most natural things your child has ever attempted to do.