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Poetry Writing for Intermediate Elementary Students


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Students may feel reluctant and threatened by a blank piece of paper and a request to write a story about a given topic.

However, with some inspiration and fun activities , reluctant writers gain confidence and eager writers gain the skills to create higher quality writing.

How to teach creative writing?

Use these activities as building blocks to improving student writing and as tools to help you teach creative writing skills.

Once learned, the activities serve as tools that your students can keep using as they write in the future.

This is the writing process that I use with my students

Show students how to use graphic organizers

Show students how to use graphic organizers such as story maps to think through their writing before they start.

A story map is a tool, often used in both reading and writing instruction, that helps students to understand the important elements of a story.

Before beginning a story, have kids plan out story elements such as character , plot, setting, theme, problem and solution on a story map so they have it to refer to as they write the story.

Fill in the graphic organizer together with your students the first few times to help them through the thinking process of coming up with the story elements that should be in the organizer.

Students will use graphic organizers such as story maps

Read to your students

Read to your students, no matter how old they are, so that they know what high quality writing sounds like.

Use a list such as the one linked below to find books that focus on one or two characteristics of quality writing. Before reading the book, introduce a characteristic of writing , such as unique word choice, and then ask students to listen for samples of it in the book as you read.

Later, have them mimic the characteristic of the book you read in a creative writing piece of their own , focusing on improving it in their writing.

Choose some familiar fairy tales, stories or nursery rhymes.

Choose some familiar fairy tales, stories or nursery rhymes. Write a list and ask students to tell you from whose point of view the story is written.

Discuss which story elements tell you who is telling the story. Discuss that character’s voice or personality characteristic s and identify those in the story.

Have students pick a story 5 and retell all or part of it from a different character’s point of view using that character’s voice and personality in their writing.

Writing a story with others gives hesitant writers some peer assistance

Use circle-writing activities

Use circle-writing activities from time to time for a quick, fun and non-threatening creative writing exercise.

Place students in groups of four to six people . Each group needs one pencil and one piece of paper. Give students a strange topic or story starter such as “Yesterday, on the way home from school I saw the strangest creature. It had…” Each group chooses one person to start the story.

The student begins to write the story when the teacher says, “Go!” and continues to write until the signal to stop is given.

At that point, students pass the paper to the next person in the circle who reads aloud the story so far to his group.

The activity continues for a given time period or number of rotations around the circle. Always give the signal to the group when the last rotation arrives so they begin to end their stories.

Writing a story together with their group gives hesitant writers some peer assistance and a less threatening environment for creating a story.

How to introduce creative writing activities to children?

Start with the six traits of writing.

Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions. These six traits provide a way to assess students’ writing.

When students understand the traits, they know what is expected of their writing.

Using and teaching the traits gives you a way to provide specific feedback about each student’s skills and needs.

Begin each class with an engaging prompt

These prompts could be used for short stories, journaling or oral stories. Vary the types of prompts.

You could use famous quotes, paintings, photographs, comic strips, passages from novels , poems, story starters or anything else students might relate to.

Teach students how to hold peer conferences with each other

During these evaluations, students read each other’s writing and give feedback. Model or script an effective, valuable conference for the class to see.

Vary how the partners or groups are organized; choose a friend, teacher’s choice, student to the left, etc. Give students a sheet of questions to ask each other and turn in for a grade or credit.

Questions could include: What is your favorite part of this story? Is there anything that is confusing to you, if so what?

Focus the lessons on a small topic like using adjectives to replace the word “good”

Demonstrate how to do a story or character graphic organizer

Students use these to plan out their ideas, characters, plot, main idea and direction of the story before writing.

These graphic organizers take brainstorming a step further. They begin to take their ideas and develop them.

Show students how valuable the writing process is by giving multiple opportunities to edit and revise their work.

According to Alice L. Trupe , author of “Revising Practices,” “As he [the student] internalizes the feedback, he becomes a better critic of his own writing and progressively incorporates those critical insights into his own drafting and revising processes when writing outside of the classroom.”

Teach mini-lessons at the beginning of each lesson.

Focus the lessons on a small topic like using adjectives to replace the word “good.”

Teach other mini-lessons about strong verbs , fragments and run-on sentences , figurative language and good leads and conclusions.

Start a writing club to join together students who already enjoy writing.

Don’t limit it to “good” writers, open it up to anyone who wants to join. Let students choose their topics on some assignments.

Some students may be discouraged or frustrated if they are always told what to write.

Here are some possible topics for young learners:

EAL Coordinator: Responsible for helping students achieve better results academically. She is fond of English language learning and teaches across all levels of students. She uses a range of teaching strategies to accommodate to students different learning styles and their unique needs.

writing classes online for elementary students

Online Elementary School

Staff Writers

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated November 8, 2022

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Online learning is increasingly common. Today, millions of students at all levels access digital learning both inside and outside the walls of their schools. While many think of online schooling as geared solely toward high school and beyond, elementary school students can also benefit from supplemental or fully online school programs.

This guide is designed to introduce the key elements of online elementary schools and answer common questions about cost, schedules, curricula and other important areas. It will also help parents assess whether online elementary school is right for their children.

Online Elementary School Introduction

Online elementary schools come in a variety of packages. Many states, as well as some large school districts, offer online public schools free to those who live within that state or district. Students may also attend online charter or private elementary schools.

Some families turn to online elementary schools for educational enrichment, while others are looking for remedial help for struggling students. Students can enroll full time or use online courses to supplement the offerings at their brick-and-mortar schools.

Proponents of online elementary school point to a number of benefits. In many online schools, students receive personalized learning programs and immediate feedback on their progress through course management systems. Many online elementary schools offer self-paced learning, allowing students to progress quickly through subjects they have mastered and spend more time with difficult subjects or topics that engage their interest.

Families often seek out online elementary schools because they offer a great degree of flexibility while adhering to state or federal education standards.

What if my child decides to attend another school?

In general, transferring from an online to a brick-and-mortar elementary school should not be significantly different from transferring between two traditional schools. Online elementary schools are designed to deliver a rigorous academic curriculum. Accredited schools and schools partnering with local or state education departments will be able to provide transcripts and necessary documentation for your student.

How do students socialize?

Online students need to socialize just like their traditional school peers. In state-run virtual schools and those aligned with individual districts, students may attend school to participate in gym, art or music classes, and after-school and summer enrichment courses. Public and private online schools may offer field trips and other events. Other socialization options can be found through museums and athletic facilities and organizations such as the YMCA. Families of online students can take advantage of community-run sports and enrichment programs, including after-school programs such as Mad Science. Homeschooling groups exist across the country and provide regular opportunities for students to play sports, attend art or music classes and build bonds.

How are they evaluated?

Students of online schools turn in homework, write assignments, complete projects and take quizzes and tests. Work may be submitted via email or through course management systems, such as Connections Academy's Connexus, Moodle or Blackboard. Teachers grade projects and written pieces. Public schools and those that partner with states and districts may also administer statewide assessment tests. Many online schools tout their ongoing assessment and communication with students and parents as a benefit over traditional brick-and-mortar schools.

How do they get the attention they need?

At the elementary school level, learning coaches (often parents) play a significant role in giving students the attention they need. This differs from the more independent, self-guided nature of online high schools. Learning coaches may facilitate communication between students and their online teachers. They are critical to providing structure, motivation and guidance as students move through the curriculum. Students can also get support from online teachers and other students using tools such as video conferencing, discussion boards, email or telephone.

How much does it cost?

Online public and charter schools are free for students within the host district or region. Students from other areas may be allowed to pay tuition to attend those schools. Several private online elementary schools are partnered with states or districts that cover tuition for students who live within those states or districts. Computers, Internet access and textbooks may be provided by the sponsoring organization. Private online elementary schools charge tuition and fees. Tuition ranges from several hundred dollars to around $6,000 for a year's tuition. Scholarships and grants are available.

Online Elementary School Glossary

Learning coach.

Learning coach is the term many online schools use for the adult primarily responsible for guiding the student through online elementary school. A learning coach is often a parent, but can be any adult willing to take on the role. Learning coaches must commit to providing ongoing guidance, supervision and motivation for their student throughout the school year.


Blended, or hybrid, learning combines digital delivery with on-campus instruction. Blended learning may take a variety of forms, including in-class instruction combined with online practice or online exploration followed by in-class discussion. In general, blended learning refers to a formal program rather than an ad hoc use of technology.


Synchronous learning closely resembles the image we have of traditional classroom learning. It involves a group of students all learning the same thing at the same time. Online tools for synchronous learning include videos, course management systems and web conferences. Synchronous learning can promote a sense of community for online learners.


Asynchronous learning refers to student-centered learning that is self-guided and self-paced. It can make use of communication tools, including email, discussion boards, course management systems and even face-to-face interactions between students and teachers. It provides a great deal of flexibility for students.

Full-time (or fully) online

Full-time online elementary schools require no “chair time” or attendance at a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Fully online schools rely on digital delivery of instructional content and student work.

Supplemental online

Supplemental online programs are designed to complement, not replace, brick-and-mortar schooling. Examples of supplemental online education include a single-semester course in geometry or the progressive study of a language over several years. Supplemental online education can be for enrichment or remedial education. It may be part of a formal program within a school district or an ad hoc addition for an individual student.

Public online

Public online schools are state-sponsored, publicly funded schools offering a curriculum that mirrors what is found in brick-and-mortar schools and meets state or Common Core learning standards.

Private online

Private online schools charge tuition. They do not need to adhere to state or Common Core standards. Accreditation provides a benchmark of quality for private schools.

Online charter school

Online charter schools are sponsored and overseen by state or local districts. Students living within the sponsoring area may attend for free. Others may be charged tuition.

Course management system

Course management systems like Moodle, Blackboard and Connexus deliver educational content within a comprehensive online system. These programs provide course materials alongside tools that allow students to participate in class discussions, chat with teachers, take assessments and track performance online.

MOOC stands for massive online open course. Khan Academy is a well-known provider of MOOCs. Usually offered for free, MOOCs deliver educational content and offer online assessments.

Why Do Kids Click With Online Elementary Schools?

What do online elementary school students learn.

All accredited public, private and charter schools should cover the same core courses and concepts, although there is flexibility in topics and delivery methods. Some schools offer elective or special courses as part of their curriculum. Online elementary schools affiliated with school districts or state education departments may partner with brick-and-mortar schools to deliver these opportunities to students.


The kindergarten curriculum provides the basic building blocks for success in school. Along with the fundamentals of literacy and math, students explore science topics such as how plants grow and social studies topics such as maps, landforms and bodies of water. Some schools offer electives in physical education, art, technology or foreign languages.

Kindergarten language arts skills may include:

Kindergarten mathematics skills may include:

First Grade

First-grade students build upon basic math and literacy skills to become more fluent. They will continue learning about science and the scientific method through topics such as weather, energy, animal habitats and rocks and soil. Social studies may include lessons ranging from the organization of communities (neighborhoods, towns and states) to the different kinds of systems we rely on (mail, transportation and communication) to famous people who have shaped our history.

First-grade language arts skills may include:

Second Grade

Second grade works to build students' critical thinking skills. Science lessons may cover topics such as the water cycles, erosion, states of matter, gravity and friction. Social studies may include lessons on local and federal government, early American history, maps and basic landforms.

Second-grade language arts skills may include:

Second-grade math skills may include:

Third Grade

Third grade capitalizes on improved reading and writing fluency to explore topics with more depth and complexity. Science lessons might cover life cycles of plants and animals as well as ecosystems, the solar system and properties of matter. Social studies lessons may include topics such as economics, early Native American communities and history of migration.

Third-grade language arts skills may include:

Third-grade math skills may include:

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade ushers in a higher level of thought, problem solving and critical thinking. In social studies, students may explore the culture and geography of different climates and regions. Science topics may include animal adaptations, necessary elements to sustain plant and animal life, force and motion, properties of matter, and phases of the moon.

Fourth-grade language arts skills may include:

Fourth-grade math skills may include:

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade hones students' language and math skills, preparing them for the challenges of middle school. Lessons in science may include plant and animal cells, plate tectonics, introduction to the periodic table, and the effect of friction and gravity on motion. Social studies may cover topics including European exploration, the American Revolution, the Civil War and westward expansion.

Fifth-grade language arts skills may include:

Fifth-grade math skills may include:

5 Things Your Online Elementary School Should Have

1. accreditation.

There is no substitute for accreditation. Whether the school is public, private or charter, accreditation by a state, regional or national board provides a measure of legitimacy and a benchmark for quality that parents can rely on.

2. Well-qualified teachers

Most, if not all, online public schools hire state-certified teachers. However, certification is not necessarily required for charter and private schools. In those instances, it is important to ask about teacher qualifications. Do they hold a bachelor's or master's degree in elementary education? If not, do they hold a degree in the subject along with a background in education? Are they experienced? Do they participate in professional development?

Online elementary students and learning coaches need ongoing support. Learning coaches often benefit from orientation or tutorials offered at the beginning of the school year. They may also want opportunities to connect with teachers and other parents throughout the year. Students need to be able to connect with their teachers in a timely manner. Finally, many online public schools provide equipment—laptops, printers, and Wi-Fi access. In such instances, it is important that schools offer technical support.

4. Comprehensive curriculum

Online public elementary schools adhere to state standards for each grade level. Private and charter schools may not. Comparing the curriculum to Common Core standards is one way to gauge whether a school will meet your student's needs.

5. Community

Elementary students need to make connections with their teachers and peers. Teachers should work to make a connection to individual students and be available for voice or video calls. Schools can offer opportunities to build connections through virtual classroom discussions, chats and discussion boards. Many schools offer field trips, clubs, extracurricular activities and other opportunities for students to connect with their virtual classmates.

Helping Your Child Succeed in an Online Elementary School

Collaboration between parents and teachers is critical to student success at the elementary level. While middle and high school students are able to guide their own learning and access tools and technology more independently, online elementary students rely more on their learning coaches. Here are some ways to help students succeed in an online elementary school:

Get organized.

Organize each school day, each week, and the overall year as much as you can beforehand. Some online schools include course management systems that help students and parents stay on track.

Create routines.

Younger students thrive on routine. Daily and weekly routines help students succeed.

Have clear expectations.

Be very clear about what you expect from your elementary student. While many online schools will provide course management tools, younger students still need guidance and clear instructions from their learning coaches.

Be positive.

Be your school's (and, therefore, your child's) cheerleader. Even if you found a particular subject frustrating when you were in school, steer clear of sharing overly negative feelings. Model a positive, can-do attitude for your student.

Be present.

When you take on the role of learning coach, you must be available to engage with your student. Online elementary school students usually require hands-on interaction with adults for success.

Find support.

Most online elementary schools offer support to both students and learning coaches. When you connect with professionals and other learning coaches, you can share ideas and strategies, as well as ask for help when you need it.

Get involved.

Take advantage of extracurricular activities offered by your online school and your community.

The Balance of Technology and Personalized Learning

Balance is the key to success! Technology and personalized learning are the pillars of success for online elementary schools. Finding the right balance between the two is the secret to success for online students.

Online tools allow for an unprecedented level of personalization. Technology allows students to be self-paced, meaning they can spend more time on challenging subjects while progressing swiftly through subjects they have mastered. Course management systems can provide instant feedback and targeted skills practice. Flexible, asynchronous learning adapts to students' individual needs.

Many elementary students crave one-on-one attention. Instruction from learning coaches or online chats with teachers provide a personal connection that encourages and motivates students. Face-to-face instruction is also a critical component of elementary education. Many schools provide support and materials to facilitate positive instruction from parents and learning coaches.

Sample Daily Schedule

One aspect of virtual elementary school is that there often is no typical day. Flexible scheduling and self-pacing allow students and learning coaches to craft each day, week or project to reflect the student's needs and interests. If a student is struggling with a math concept, there is no need to stop the lesson and move on. Some students and learning coaches find they complete all of the day's schoolwork before lunch, leaving afternoons free for additional learning projects, sports, clubs, music lessons or other activities.

25 Online Learning Resources for Students and Families

The Internet is a goldmine of information for new homeschool families. The following online tools and resources are an excellent place to start.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.

Reading Worksheets, Spelling, Grammar, Comprehension, Lesson Plans

Writing Worksheets

Writing can be one of the most daunting skills for some students to learn. Over time, however, students of any skill level can learn to write effectively with the right practice and instruction. We've developed a set of different writing worksheets around specific areas like editing and proofing, writing conclusions, choosing topic sentences, and how to use transition words.  We've also included some helpful writing worksheets for writing prompts and some fun lined paper themes. Each worksheet we create is aligned to common core standards and designed for different grade levels from kindergarten to high school.

Editing and Proofing Worksheets

How to Editing and Proof a Paragraph - Printable Writing Activity

Students practice recognizing errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word usage and making corrections.

Handwriting Worksheets

Handwriting Practice - A, E, T

Below you’ll find a full set of printable print handwriting and cursive handwriting worksheets on lined paper. Check out all of our writing worksheets !

Lined Writing Paper

Summer Lined Paper for Writing

Here we’ve included several different styles of lined paper writing templates for kids. You’ll find standard lined paper and ones with graphic themes like Christmas and Valentine’s Day!

writing classes online for elementary students

Help your students develop stronger writing skills, by understanding how to vary sentence patterns to engage readers. Here you’ll find helpful worksheets that you can use in class or at home.

Sentence Starters

Printable Cards - Sentence Starters

Topic Sentences Worksheets

Writing Worksheet Activity - Topic Sentences

Topic sentences state the central focus of the paragraph and provide cohesion for the paragraph. These activities help students learn to write clear and concise topic sentences.

Identify The Transition Words - Printable Worksheet Activity

Transition words, such as “although,” “however,” and “for example,” play an important role in writing. They tie two thoughts together and add fluency to writing.

Writing Conclusions Worksheets

Write a Conclusion Writing Activity - Why the Moon?

How to Write an Introduction

Writing Introductions Worksheet - Introducing a Topic: Telling a Story

Here you’ll find writing worksheets to help your students write great essay introductions.

Writing Poetry

Printable Poetry Worksheet - Robert Frost

Mother's Day Writing Prompt - Mom and Me

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