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Teaching Writing Skills With Popplet

Sometimes we say that people are “born writers”. But just as the naturally talented often do, we are employing the written word for artistic effect because nobody is really born a great writer. It’s true that some are destined for literary and artistic greatness and take more naturally to the written word than others, but at some point, they will have had to learn how to write, as we all do.

Like reading, writing is a core skill and must be taught. And as with reading, Popplet is a valuable teaching tool, always handy for working on both fictional and informational texts or easily providing that much-needed inspiration when the dreaded “fear of the blank page” has struck our young scribes wordless.

Educators frequently include Popplet in their writing teaching strategies, here are some of their latest ideas.

Planning Writing with Popplet

Well, you can just dive right on in there and start writing – there’s no harm in it. In fact, it’s what a lot of writers do. In reality though, even if we begin writing this way, at some point we will definitely need to stop and get our words, sentences, and paragraphs in order. This is why most successful writers do some planning their planning before they put pen to paper. Be it factual or fictional writing, Popplet really was made for creating writing plans.

In the following example 2nd-grade teacher Anita Sergio had her students create popplets organizing topic, main idea, and supporting details:

Organizing their topic, main idea, and supporting details using Popplet!

Planning Writing with Images, Text, Video, and Drawing

Planning is part of the creative process. Popplet is part of the creative process and has a lot of features that are designed to help its users capture their ideas: text, images, video, and even drawings can be added to a popplet writing plan. Take a look at these learners from the Year 4 iSuite classroom using Popplet to full affect:

Lots of brilliant story planning this morning. We have been using Popplet to create well-organised plans, including our own character avatars and pictures.

Brainstorming, Working Collaboratively, and Presenting

Nothing beats a good brainstorm at the beginning of a writing project. Be it a fictional tale of high drama or an informational text, two (or more) heads are almost always better than one. Popplet provides the tools to brainstorm, organize, and work collaboratively. Students (and teachers) can work together or remotely on the same popplet board. Popplet also comes with several presentation modes when it’s time to share that work on the big screen. Here are Mrs Askins’s young learners writing informational reports using Popplet.

We are working collaboratively to write information reports. We used ⁦Popplet⁩ to brainstorm our ideas.

Learning Literacy Skills through Classroom Writing Activities

Literacy is made up of multiple core skills: reading, writing, vocabulary…and writing practice is an excellent way both to introduce new skills and highlight any gaps that learners may have. Descriptive writing always relies on the correct use of adjectives and adverbs, spelling and punctuation are also important as is grammar. It’s important that writers learn those skills so that they can effectively communicate ideas. Fourth-grade teacher. Mr. Winslow used Popplet to teach his writers the difference between dependent and independent clauses. An excellent example of a good area for writers to study as simple sentence formation is natural when speaking but gets a little bit tricky when writing.

Big Ideas: Popplet Writing Inspiration in First-Grade

So you have your “big idea”. It might still be a little fuzzy, but it’s there – what to do? Well, you certainly don’t want to lose it and one way of keeping it and developing it further is to create a popplet. Could be you’re not quite sure what your big idea is, it happens to the best of writers. One way to unlock your thoughts might be to begin with an image. Have a think, snap a photo of something around you, or find the image you need online and immediately upload it to your popplet. Think a little more, meditate, the words will come. Check out Kim Steffen’s first-graders using Popplet for their big ideas.

First graders are using Popplet to organize their “big ideas” and “details” before writing.

Are you using Popplet to teach or learn writing skills in your classroom? If you are let us know. Share with us, the Popplet community, on Twitter, and our Facebook page. Or, if you’re looking for inspiration, check out Public Popplets after you sign up for a Popplet account. We’ll even give you ten popplet boards to get started.