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Are We Raising Writers?
July 22, 2021
If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.
-Julia Sorel, author
So many steps forward in human history have come about because of persuasive writing. Mohandas Gandhi, who famously employed nonviolent resistance to lead a successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, also utilized the power of writing to inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the globe.

On October 22, 1925, Gandhi published a list he called the Seven Social Sins in his weekly newspaper Young India.

  • Politics without principles.
  • Wealth without work.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Knowledge without character.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Science without humanity.
  • Worship without sacrifice.

In 1947, Gandhi gave his grandson, Arun Gandhi, a slip of paper with this list, saying that it contained “the seven blunders that human society commits, and that cause all the violence.” Three months later, Gandhi was assasinated by a Hindu extremist.

Recent research around the world paints a discouraging picture of children’s feelings about writing. For example, an article on the website of the National Literacy Trust in the U.K, reports on a research study “which shows that just one fifth of children and young people (20.7%) write daily outside the classroom. This is a significant drop since 2014 when more than a quarter of pupils (27.2%) put pen to paper or wrote digitally every day outside school. In fact, more than a quarter of children (28.1%) now say they rarely or never write something that isn’t for school.”

Rebecca Giles wrote her book, A Young Writers World, specifically to provide resources early educators could use to help raise enthusiastic writers. She explains:

“Young children gain valuable experience in programs that encourage them as authors…The setting, however, can sway an individual for or against any endeavor, which makes it essential to consider how features of the classroom environment affect the writers it is intended to support. Environments that provide the time, materials, and challenges that allow children’s development as authors to flourish must be intentionally planned.”


A Young Writer's World
Creating Early Childhood Classrooms
Where Authors Abound

Use coupon code WRITER
at checkout for 15% off this resource!

Developing young writers takes energy and creativity, wisdom and strategy, intention and reflection. All are provided here, in abundance. This book is a tool and a resource written by someone who knows the terrain deeply and treats it with reverence.

A Young Writer's World invites you to celebrate and explore the world of words with your young ones – seeing letters and words in everyday life, connecting language with play on a daily basis, and entering into the delight of literacy, print, and connection with children as they become readers, speakers, and writers.

May not be combined with any other offer.
Offer ends July 23, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST.
Not valid on past purchases or bulk discounts.


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Comments (4)

Displaying All 4 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · July 23, 2021
Lincoln, Nebraska, Australia

Marcia, Francis, and Therese- thank you all for sharing your experiences and thoughts on writing. As with so many things in life, writing is more about the process than the end product. Thank you all for reinforcing this!

-Tiffany at Exchange

therese wiley · July 22, 2021
alamogordo, New Mexico, United States

i completely agree with Francis! i grew up loving to write. I loved everything about writing: the feel of the pencil, the smell of the lead, the feel of the pencil on paper, the creative practice of making thought reality. And then i had a few teachers that completely killed my love for writing with their criticism. I was told i could not write - unless i wrote the way they wanted me to. I learned to love writing again as an adult, but i know i still carry the scars. If we want our children to enjoy writing, we need to encourage their efforts and appreciate their unique points of view. Being critical of their self-expression is, quite literally, self-defeating.

Marcia R Wythers · July 22, 2021
The Legacy
Lincoln, NE, United States

Too often both parents and teachers positively reinforce children's efforts and successes to read and ignore their efforts to write. Children need the same encouragement for their writing efforts as for reading.

Francis Wardle · July 22, 2021
Center for the Study of Biracial Children
Denver, Colorado, United States

I struggled academically in school (I could not read until high school). Yet for much of my adult life I have been a writer - and greatly enjoy the process. I have always argued that Americans don't like to write because it's taught in a way that makes it unpleasant and "work". Anything that helps young children creatively use writing to explore their own identities and interact with the greater world, is of great value.

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