We all know that motivation is an extremely important ingredient of learning anything. How can we motivate children to write? Because to me good teaching is never prescriptive but rather needs to be creative, inspirational, and in tune with students’ needs, teachers really need to experiment with new teaching ideas. As a teacher and researcher, I find that teaching expertise and experimenting with new and creative ideas are crucial in teaching.
In my collaboration with the second grade teacher, we found that for children it’s very motivating when I read my first book I wrote, about how Carmel and I became a therapy team, “From unruly to therapy dog.” They already know me as Carmel’s handler and when I read my book to them, they are getting to know me also as an author. This experience is motivating to them because they see that it is not as difficult to become a published author. As I read the book, children have questions not only about Carmel but also about the self publishing process. I hear statements like: “I want to be an author.”
Last week, after the spring break, during our therapy visit, I refreshed children on autobiography and every child came up with his or her autobiography idea, as well as the title and the idea for an illustration. Children also created their first drafts of their autobiography book covers. In addition, they were extremely eager to share their drafts with other classmates.
This is one of the many ways I hope to inspire children in the Carmel’s Therapy Dog App. Children can write stories with dog characters or even with Carmel as a character. Since Carmel and I can only be at one place at a time, we published the app as a way to allow children to interact with Carmel and get creative. The app can also be used as a tool by teachers who want to incorporate writing and creativity into their classroom – a way to inspire stories and creativity in children in a manner similar to the way Carmel inspires children in the classroom. If you are a parent or a teacher, or know a child you believe could benefit from the app in this way, feel free to check it out at the link below and come write with us!