Writing about your own experiences can be a good starting point for many students, especially reluctant writers. However, you need to keep the task manageable and provide sufficient structure and support so that students learn some skills from the activity, rather than it just becoming a writing test!
The underlying premise should be that ‘less is best’. It is better for students to write a small amount of well-structured interesting information, rather than writing a large quantity of poorly written text. Modelling should also be an integral part of this process.
A significant moment
- Choose a dramatic or exciting moment in your life and introduce it with a strong visual image.
- Think about a time when you had an interesting or inspiring conversation. Begin the writing with dialogue and then go onto explain the impact it had on your life.
- Write about a place to which you have a strong emotional connection (positive or negative). Try to capture the smells and the sounds in addition to your visual memories. Be descriptive, explicit and detailed.
A thought or observation
- This could be a reflection of your own life or a comparison of your own life to another place or time.
- The age of your first memory is different for different people. Write about your earliest memory and why it was significant.
- Write in the form of a newspaper article.
- Write different parts of your life story in alphabetical order.
B-Betty, my aunty, accompanied me from shop to shop as I tried on dress after dress, trying to find the perfect outfit.