ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Free Online Writing Courses: Teach Kids to be Better Writers

Updated on August 30, 2013

improve writing skills for kids

It’s really never too soon to start teaching basic writing skills, and with this installment of my free online writing courses, I’ll provide you with some tips that can improve writing skills for kids. I use these with my grandchildren, and it’s already paying off. My oldest one, Jonathan, is in second grade, and according to his teachers, he’s the best writer in the class. I don’t take all the credit for this, but I’m sure a couple of my strategies helped. Maybe he was born with a great imagination, and my informal instruction allowed him to harness it and channel it into his writing and storytelling.

Improve writing skills - Increase vocabulary

Obviously, kids begin learning words at a very young age. At that point, their brains are like sponges, and they’re capable of learning a lot more than many parents realize. Take full advantage of this learning capacity whenever you can. I do this in an informal way. I began when the grands were very young by reading to them. Whenever we’d come across a word I wasn’t sure they knew the meaning of, I’d take time out to explain the meaning of the word to them. After they understood the meaning, I’d work on application – using the word correctly in a sentence. Knowing and using more words is the foundation for writing and is needed to improve writing skills.

This can also be done while watching movies and television shows. When you teach a new vocabulary word to kids, use the word in conversation a few times to instill the meaning, especially if it’s a more difficult word.

Improve writing skills - Details and descriptive words

Details and descriptive words are very important in writing, and this is another way you can improve writing skills with kids. We sometimes play a game that addresses this aspect of writing skills. Again, this can be done informally. For example, you can choose any object and see how many adjectives the child can come up with in describing it. Just about any item will do. Take a pencil, for example. Adjectives your child might come up with include hard, long, skinny, yellow, etc. Make it a fun contest to keep it interesting.

Improve writing skills - Cause and effect

Cause and effect is another important aspect to many forms of writing. You can use story books, cartoons, and movies to teach this skill. When something happens in the narrative, stop and ask the child, “Why do you think that happened?” You can also ask the child to anticipate what will happen next in the plot: “Okay, so Chicken Little thinks the sky is falling. What do you think he’s going to do?” When the child answers, ask him why he thinks the way he does.

Another way to hone future writing skills is by using progressive stories. This works especially well if you’re working with more than one kid. You begin an oral story, and each child will add to it, taking up where the former player left off. Not only does this help with cause and effect, it also allows kids to use their imagination.

Cause and effect is extremely important in both writing skills and reading and comprehension skills. It’s a big part of many standardized tests, too.

Improve writing skills - Organization skills

Writing skills also include organization. Kids need to understand that stories should have a definite beginning, middle, and end. Later, the same will be true of essays they’ll have to write. The use of progressive stories, mentioned above, will help with this. Another way to increase organizational writing skills is to get the child to make up oral stories on their own.

My granddaughters love to play this “game” with me! They’re obsessed with scary stories, for some reason, so we take turns telling each other such tales. Keep you expectations reasonable, however. You won’t get a Stephen King novel from a four-year-old child, but after a little practice, you’ll be surprised with some of the stories they come up with!


Observing details and being able to recall them can also help with writing skills. One way to do this is to have the child re-tell a favorite story, cartoon episode, or movie in their own words. A year or so ago, Jonathan had viewed one of the Star Wars movies, and I asked him about it. He talked for two hours, nonstop, re-telling the movie plot to me! He was six at the time. With younger children, use something short and simple, of course.

Read, read, read!

I can’t stress enough how important reading is, especially to young children. They’re never too young to be read aloud to. Make reading or story time a part of every day. Set aside a few minutes to spend this quality time with your kids. Allow them to ask questions whenever they want, and you should ask them questions, too, if they’re old enough to understand and answer. Doing so is a great way to check for comprehension.

If you want to learn more about improving writing skills, check out my free online writing courses. I’ve covered a variety of topics, and I’ll be adding more. To utilize my free online writing courses, click the links below!


Jonathan, on the right, is a great writer...and a great little fisherman!
Jonathan, on the right, is a great writer...and a great little fisherman!

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)