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In today’s technology-driven world, children are increasingly drawn to engaging in interactive online games. As a parent, I was initially skeptical, viewing these games as potential distractions from more “constructive” activities. However, with time and observation, I recognized an opportunity within this digital playground. What if these captivating online realms could be used as a tool to enhance my children's writing skills?
This essay details my journey of how I used my kids' favorite online games as a springboard to bolster their writing abilities, making the task of writing less of a chore and more of an exciting adventure.
Before most kids become experts at writing skills, they have become experts at playing a video game. I wondered how I could lower the barrier for my students to write. As I observed my children engaging with their favorite online games, I began to see the potential these platforms had for teaching writing skills.
Online games are a treasure trove of exciting narratives, characters, and places. These world-building settings found in many of these games captivated my kids, sparking their imagination in ways that traditional writing tasks often failed to do. I realized that if I could harness their enthusiasm for these games and translate it into a passion for writing, we might be onto something extraordinary.
I started encouraging my children to write about their gaming experiences. They began creating character profiles, writing game reviews, and even crafting their own narratives based on the games' universes. Once the kids were hooked on to the content that they were writing about, we worked on the aspects of improving their writing skills, like story-structure, language, figurative words, and grammar.
This wasn't just dull sentence construction or grammar exercises; it was creative storytelling, persuasive writing, and thoughtful analysis. To my delight, they were not only enjoying the process, but they were also improving their writing skills without even realizing it.
Observing my children engrossed in online games was quite an experience. The vibrant worlds, compelling characters, and intricate plots that unfolded on the screen captivated their imagination. They would excitedly talk about their adventures in the game, articulating strategies, and character attributes with such detail and passion. It struck me then; this fascination could be the missing link to making writing, an activity he had always found tedious, more engaging and enjoyable.
With this in mind, I proposed a new task for him. After each gaming session, I asked my children to write about their adventures. At first, it was simple recounts - what missions they had accomplished, characters they had interacted with, and how they felt about the game's events. I noticed immediate enthusiasm. The writing wasn't a chore; it was a chance to extend their gaming experience, reflecting on their strategies, and planning for their next play.
Let me share with you an excerpt from a story, crafted by one of my students, drawing inspiration from a video game.
As the kids became comfortable with this, we expanded the scope. They started writing character backstories, game reviews, and predictions about the plot. Their creativity began to flourish. Not only that, but the complexity of their sentences, the richness of their vocabulary, and the organization of their ideas improved significantly. These gaming sessions became a playground for honing their writing skills.
I use the same technique with my students during the writing class. Looking back, what surprises me most is the transformation. Children who once saw writing as a dull school task, now view it as a fun, creative outlet. This journey taught me that learning can be found in the most unexpected places. By tapping into children’s passion for online games, I was able to help them discover a newfound love for writing. This digital playground, initially seen as a distraction, turned out to be a unique and valuable learning tool.
Discovering the plots and strategies of digital games as a way to explore writing skills gave us a new found way to enjoy our screentime. This experience reshaped our understanding and approach towards online games. We learned to view them not just as forms of entertainment but also as potential learning tools.
Digital games became a means to foster creativity, critical thinking, and, most importantly, a love for writing. Our journey of integrating video gaming with writing taught us to appreciate the learning opportunities that can be found within our evolving digital landscape. It showed us that sometimes, embracing change and adapting to new methods can truly enrich the learning experience.
In this essay, I have used the example of online games as a way to develop writing skills. Remember that online shows, Youtube videos, and other forms of digital media can be used in a similar way to inspire kids to write.
Embracing video games as a tool to foster writing skills in my children proved to be a transformational journey. Their vocabulary expanded as they used in-game terminology, their sentence structure became more complex as they described intricate game plots, and their creativity blossomed as they ventured into imaginative storytelling.
Having seen the efficacy of this strategy, moving forward, my plan is to continue leveraging online games as an effective tool to enhance my students' writing skills in my classroom. The focus will be on facilitating clear articulation of thoughts, logical organization of ideas, and the free expression of creativity - all fundamental to competent writing. My previous skepticism of online games has given way to a recognition of their value in nurturing writing abilities. It is evident that the digital realm offers an engaging, effective, and enjoyable approach to teaching writing. —-----------------------------------------—-----------------------------------------—------------------
Finding new ways to inspire kids to write and communicate effectively is one of my life’s work which is why I include many fun activities in our writing classes to inspire the next generation of thinkers. Want to learn more about our story writing classes? Check us out here.
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