How good is NaNoWriMo Young Writers’ Program?! If you missed it, NaNoWriMo is an event where entrants are challenged to write a 50 000 word novel over the course of November. The Young Writer’s Program (YWP) is an adaptation of NaNoWriMo where students from all over the world write their own novels, aiming for a word count goal that they negotiate with their teacher. Each year, I’ve been progressively more astute in organising it and those students involved have taken it and run with it.

This year is going off with more than 30 of my year 5 and 6 students writing thousands of words each already. All of them are writing and editing in Google Docs with teachers and parents able to support their editing process in the same document. The students are very supportive of each other, answering each other’s questions and providing inspiration in the wee hours online using edmodo. I’ve supplied a form for students to record their word count (whenever they remember) which turns into a chart. The thick blue line is for a generic 8000 word goal.

Next year I’d like to support students more before, during and after their writing month. I plan to encourage more local schools to take part and collaborate with local and international schools on connected writing lessons. Hopefully GAFE will be available by our department of education so that we can connect with other classes using Google Hangouts. I’d love to get children’s book authors involved so that they can teach some lessons and provide activities as well as allow our students to ask them questions to help with their novels.

If you are interested in being part of this next year, connecting with our class or helping as an author, please leave a comment or track me down on Twitter. And even if you don’t, at least give NaNoWriMo a go next year. Did you know that all of our young authors will get to edit and then publish their books? They will actually be given two paperbacks of their own book by CreateSpace! Imagine how proud these students will be to give a copy of their book to the school library or their grandparents while announcing, “I wrote my own novel!”

This post first appeared at robmctaggart.com

About The Author

Primary Technologies Teacher
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Rob McTaggart teaches Technologies from K-6 in Newcastle, Australia. He is co-founder of the Digital Sparks regional student technology design challenge & expo. Rob is a Google for Education Certified Innovator who loves to help students to engage and create with the world using technology. He developed the RAPID Design framework to support students and teachers in these aims. Rob is a moderator for #aussieED and plays a logistics role for the team, managing the website and various channels. He is an ambassador and teacher trainer for Code Club Australia and runs a local Code Club for his students. His main gig is teaching 550 amazing kids every week which makes him a very lucky teacher!

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