What motivates students to write and develop their literacy skills

We know from research that it is of great importance that students develop an interest in the written language from the start of school and read and write a lot of texts. But how can we draw the foals to the trough and get them to write a lot?

Important knowledge about the use of images in students’ early writing

There are undoubtedly many good answers to that, but in the last 10 years, we have gained a lot of experience with how pictures can inspire and motivate students in primary school to produce texts. In addition, we also have a large amount of data and knowledge about which images the students use when they write a book in our learning tool.

We are pleased to announce the categories of images students are most motivated by when creating text, based on data from nearly 1.1 million images searched and selected for the WriteReader image banks in 2023.

What will students choose if they can search for images themselves?

In WriteReader, students can freely search among over 2 million photos and illustrations from the image service Pixabay through the search function, which allows for free text and voice searches.

As we have experienced over the past several years, man’s two best friends (the dog and the cat) take 1st and 2nd place, with the dog resoundingly in the lead. Since many students have a close relationship with these two popular pets, including these experiences in their writing is natural.

In the next place comes soccer, which is surprising since more than half of all users on app.writereader.com come from the USA and Canada. This may be because Messi has moved to the United States and started playing for Inter Miami in the American soccer league. If you look at the number of searches for ‘Messi’ in isolation, there is enough for a position just outside the top 10.

In places 4, 6, 9, and 10, we find, less surprisingly, four of the biggest game and toy phenomena of the time Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, and Pokémon – and not far outside the top 10 we find Among Us. These topics make more sense statistically, as many students know a lot about these games, which they can write about and convey to others – for example, their best tips and tricks.

In 5th, 11th, and 12th place, we find the search words school, friends, and family, which are three considerable areas in school children’s everyday life and, therefore, super obvious to write about.

Nestled in the middle of our top 12, we find cars in 7th place, closely followed by food in 8th place. If, on the other hand, you combine the ‘food’ search with many children’s favorite ‘pizza’, it will slide straight into 5th place.

The students’ choice among selected image bank categories

WriteReader will create ongoing collections of images to make motivating and supporting the students’ writing process easier. Some categories are created based on teachers’ wishes worldwide, and others are based on the time of year, holidays, and current events.

The choices students make among the 25-30 image bank categories active in WriteReader also provide an interesting picture of what students prefer as a starting point or ‘accessory’ to their texts.

Gladly the love category reached the top this year, as it must be assumed that it has given rise to texts about joy, gratitude, wishes, and other positive things about life.

Well-known categories as Minecraft, cat, food, and dog return in places 2 through 5, which ram home that these topics are extremely popular and appropriate for students’ early writing.

Containing an illustration for each of the four seasons and 12 months of the year, the all year round category is suitable for writing science texts about the changes in nature or the students’ experiences at different times of the year.

Again this year, emojis, which can be used to describe, reinforce, and support different feelings and moods, are among the most popular for students to write about. Emojis also represent an essential part of children’s written communication on mobile phones and social media, to name a few.

Technology is another theme that takes up many students’ everyday lives, and they, therefore, have good prerequisites for expressing themselves in writing.

It is not only domesticated animals that have the students’ great interest, and with a good mix of 28 wild animals – varying in size from a hummingbird to a whale – there are good opportunities for the students to find an animal that they know of or is fascinated by and thus wants to write about.

In the outermost place in the top 10, we find a category that is only relevant for a small part of the year and must be used intensively during that period. It is about many children’s favorite holidays, which gives them good opportunities to write about their experiences, wishes, and expectations, as well as write their own fantastic stories about Santa Clauses, reindeer, elves, etc.

Check out how WriteReader can motive your students

If you and your students are not already using WriteReader, you can create an account free of charge and get started on app.writereader.com in minutes. Don’t cheat yourself and your students out of the experience of what easy access to carefully selected images can do for students’ writing motivation.

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What motivates students to write and develop their literacy skills

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