Writing Skills Activities for Special Children
Children with special needs require someone to walk the extra mile to help them improve. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, it’s your job to explore different options in helping these children learn more and acquire new skills. You need you to find the right tools, resources, and activities they could make use of. One of the things they need to work on is their writing skills.
We’ve decided to help you find the right way to help special children improve their writing. Below, you’ll find a list of useful writing skills activities for special children. They’ll make it easier for them to work on their writing and become better at it every day.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the activities.
The Spelling Activity
Spelling is one of the essential skills children need to practice and try to master. Good spelling activity can go a long way, especially in inclusive education.
Here’s an interesting activity you can assign a special child:
- provide an image of a simple notion
- provide a written version of the same notion (e.g., chicken)
- provide several other versions in which a letter is missing and needs to be added (c_iken, chick_n, ch_cken…)
The child needs to detect which letter is missing and thus practice the spelling of the word actively. The image will help them better memorize the notion and make the process a bit easier.
It’s a simple but very effective activity. You can even recommend it to parents of children with special needs to practice at home.
Sentence Construction Activity
When you’re teaching writing in special education, you have to work on sentence construction. Here’s a great activity for improving sentence construction:
- provide a simple image (e.g., a cat drinking some milk from a bowl)
- provide sentences that lack one word and give students words to choose from to fill in the gap.
Here’s what it would look like:
- I see a __________________. cat, dog, mouse
- It is __________________. red, yellow, brown
- It is drinking _______________. milk, water, juice
The children already have the correct spelling of the word in question and simply need to copy the answer to the empty space.
It’s a great exercise for teaching them spelling and sentence construction simply and engagingly.
Folded Paper Activity
To encourage children’s independence and further enhance their writing skills, you can gradually introduce more difficult tasks.
The folded paper activity helps them become more independent and practice writing on a higher level. Here’s how it works:
- provide a sheet of paper with four columns
- write a variety of words in the first column
- leave the second column blank so that the students copy the words
- the students fold the paper, covering the first two columns
- the third column contains the image of the same word from the first column
- students need to write the word from memory
Once they unfold the paper, they’ll see whether their spelling was good or they need to practice more.
You can have children working together in smaller groups, provided there’s no challenging behavior, and the students are able to cooperate.
Thank-You Notes Activity
Child psychology has proven that active learning is among the best types of learning for children. Children learn better if they can acquire practical knowledge they get to use in their everyday lives.
Writing thank-you notes is a fun activity that will teach them a skill they can use all the time.
The Thank-You Notes activity should happen in several stages:
- Provide several examples of a simple thank-you note.
- Provide different pieces of a thank-you note for the student to assembly.
- Provide a thank-you note with some of the words missing for them to fill out
- Assign them to write a thank-you note from scratch.
If you feel like you need help with creating these study materials and activities, you can check out these websites for elementary students. They can help you create templates and worksheets you can use in your writing skills activities.
This way, children are gradually learning about the elements and form of a thank-you note.
You can apply the same technique to other written forms, such as a Christmas card or a birthday invitation.
The Adjectives Activity
When you make activities fun and interactive, special children will be more willing to participate. Also, they’ll find the learning process more enjoyable.
This fun adjectives activity is a great example. Here’s how to do it:
- provide a simple image (e.g., a delicious looking cupcake)
- provide a list of adjectives
- make some adjectives relevant to the cupcake and some not
- ask the child to choose which adjectives best describe the cupcake
The child will choose the adjectives they believe to go with the word cupcake. As they explore their options, they’ll learn new adjectives they aren’t sure about.
Together, you can explain the meaning of each adjective and ensure the child acquires as many new ones as possible.
Finally, you can ask the child to write full sentences using the adjectives:
- The cupcake is _______________.
This activity will enhance the problem solving processes and help children improve their mental cognition. It’s a great exercise that requires patience and creativity.
The Cubes Activity
The cubes activity is another fun way to help special children learn writing and improve their writing skills. This activity requires the following prompts:
- a set of cubes with pictures on them (subject/character, verb, object, place, and adjective cube)
- writing worksheets for students to fill in
Here’s how to perform the activity:
- start simple and assign the student a task to roll two cubes only- the subject and verb cube
- the result will provide a silly sentence that they have to write down (e.g., The cat swims or The ball is dancing)
- for each new round, the students include another cube until they have a full sentence with all the elements
The students will end up with all kinds of funny and nonsense sentences, such as The guitar is driving nicely in the classroom.
But, they’ll learn about spelling, sentence construction, parts of speech, and so much more.
Teaching writing to special children requires a special engagement. You need to make it simple and fun at the same time.
Use the activities we’ve shared above to help a special child improve their writing. Also, use it as inspiration for other effective writing skills activities for special children.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is an editor for Essayguard. She is also an experienced writer with a degree in social psychology from Durham University. Daniela is primarily focused on writing about self-improvement. She has authored a number of insightful and motivating articles like “Making The Right Choices Every Day” and “7 Steps To Open Yourself To New Opportunities & Possibilities”.