Five ways to celebrate National Day on Writing

In scholastic media programs, writing is a given. It’s an essential component of storytelling students practice daily, regardless of whether the product is shared in web, print or video form.

Students write to inform, to educate and to entertain. They write to make sense of the world around them. They write to understand and to influence.

And Oct. 20 in particular, we celebrate that skill — as a service, a passion and an academic pursuit. The National Day on Writing, or #WhyIWrite, is an annual celebration developed by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Here are a few simple ways to engage with the National Day on Writing with a digital media spin.

[1] Spend time reading good online journalism from scholastic programs. Analyze and discuss stories that matter. For starters, see how writers tackled issues like a recent swastika incident, Boy Scouts of America, gender equality or the Las Vegas shooting. Or dig in with web stories like A life in limbo or Surviving the storm. Encourage dialogue about how writing is a way to provide context, background and accurate reporting on topics affecting the school community.

[2] Listen to a Why I Write podcast. What connections can you draw to other podcasts students enjoy? Still wanting to add podcasting to your program? Here’s what one adviser shared last year after four months of podcasting.

[3] Explore this post on the best writing apps of 2017. Digital tools make the writing process more customizable than ever before. Do you have any favorite writing apps to add? (And are any students at your school writing books, documentaries, poetry or other works? Have you already featured them in your media?)

[4] Check out One Hundred Reasons Why I Write from the National Writing Project or this post on writing every day. Use a classroom tool like Padlet to invite student responses.

[5] Join the #WhyIWrite conversation on Twitter. Encourage creative tweets using video, too. If you have time, connect students’ Twitter responses to a graphic design lesson using a tool like Canva or Adobe Spark. (This recent post and/or these design tips may help.)

And feel free to snag other ideas from NCTE here.


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