"Middle schoolers are our favorite. They’re weird and imaginative and dramatic and, though they sometimes try to hide it, they get super excited about learning new things and showing off their creative work. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to harness that creative energy, help them get past their inner critics, and keep them motivated throughout NaNoWriMo. And we’re here to support you along the way! First, some common questions:
Can middle schoolers write a novel?
Yes! Just adjust your expectations based on experience, language skills, and enthusiasm. Some of your students might end up writing something that looks more like a short story, but their effort and pride will be the same as someone who writes 50,000 words. Besides, who knows how else they might grow? If you take a whole class of kids and soak them in creativity for a month, something is going to happen. It might not be exactly what you expected, but chances are good that it’s going to be awesome!
Does writing novels actually help middle schoolers learn English language skills?
Yes! Research shows that sustained, focused practice leads to skill development. Writing is no different! By working each day on a project that actually matters to them, students develop writing fluency, which is a necessary component of writing proficiency. Plus, they choose their own stories based on what matters to them, which leads to high student engagement and achievement. Not to mention their improved novel-reading skills."