Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teaching Children to Write or Draw with "Magic Writing Tools"

It seems without fail every year I have a student or two whom completely resist writing, coloring, and drawing.  I offer the student a writing utensil and he/she throws it or folds his/her arms and shouts “NO!”.  Here are my clever solutions to getting students to accept writing &/or drawing assignments.  

My experience has been that after students get the hang of writing and become more successful, they are quick adopters.  The key is to be creative in your initial effort.  My secret is to offer students several writing utensil options like chalk, smelly markers, color wonder markers, crayon tips, and crayon rings.  

In fact, as I was cleaning up the classroom recently,  I noticed we have these materials hidden around the room for the staff's easy access.  That strategy led me to the idea of the "Magic Writing Tools".  I simply collected and placed all these special crayons, markers, and other writing utensils in an old diaper wipe container.

I have stored our toolbox near the art center (out of reach of the children but at easy access for staff!).  I am anxious to give it a whirl with next patch of anti-writing Buddy Bears!! 

Here are the contents of my Magic Writing Toolbox:

Another tip that has helped our kids with learning to write and draw is using a work task designed for writing.  The one I created was based on the ideas of Kimberly Henry and her book “How Do I Teach This Kid?"  

The perfect container for this taskbox is a kid's Nike shoe box.  

It doesn’t have a lot of advertisement on it so it's not visually distracting. Plus, it has a hole on the side for kids to put their writing utensils in when they are all done.  We have used markers, character rollers, and paint pens to do this task.


  1. some wonderful ideas! Ive learned from special education advocates that thinking outside the box can really give you some great new takes on ideas and make them even more effective

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