I don't know about you, but my son would much rather play video games and watch videos than write a composition. I will say, that as he ages (is eleven to twelve really aging?) he has been getting better and more open to writing, but the fact remains, most text books on writing simply seem to bore him, and do little to inspire. If your middle school home schooler is anything like mine, you might find these 6 videos on writing not only capture their attention, but being in video format, really make the points come alive to your home schooled child in a way that reading about in a text book just doesn't seem to quite do. Let's look at them ...
1. Plot Mountain! The Plot Diagram Song by Scratch Garden
This is a great video to start with. The catchy song and animated graphics really visually show your child the essence of the five elements of a good plot - an introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. The mentions of characterization and setting are good, too. Did I mention the fun animation? My son loves animation to a fault, and watching the charming characters and settings changes really made a light bulb go off in his head.
2. Writing Tips: 6 Ways to Start a Sentence
Another problem encountered is "Where do I start?" This is a great quick tip animated video giving reluctant writers some new ideas and ways to start their sentences, so it is not always the same structure. My son again found it very catchy!
3. How to make your writing suspenseful - Victoria Smith
This is a great TEDEd video (How can you go wrong with TEDEd?) on suspenseful writing. Again, a delightful animation captures the young writers attention besides a dull, boring lecture. After watching this, my son, not a mystery/suspense fan by any means, wrote a pretty good mystery narrative for his writing assignment.
4. Primary English Creative Writing
This is another animated video which really gets the point across about using your five senses in your writing. After struggling for two years with trying to get the point across, my son watched this video and told me all about using the senses ... why didn't I find it earlier?!? I could have saved myself many lectures!
5. How to write descriptively - Nalo Hopkinson
Another TEDEd video, and another great one to inspire your writer to include description in their narrative or other writing. Again, beautifully animated and captivating!
And finally ....
6. Grog and Sheep's Writing Tips for Kids
Although this is by no means a professional video, my son loved Grog and Sheep. They have a few tips that, just because zombies and sheep appeal to any middle school boy, they will pay attention to. A good one to surprise your reluctant writer with as a cap to the more serious (yet fun!) videos above!
Hope these can be of help to you out there with less than enthusiastic writers!