Recognizing the National Day on Writing, 2021 - NCTE
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Recognizing the National Day on Writing, 2021

Writing is an important part of life. It helps us communicate and work with each other, supports our learning, and helps us remember. The National Day on Writing® celebrates writing—and the many places, reasons, and ways we write each day—as an essential component of literacy.

Since 2009, the hashtag #WhyIWrite has encouraged thousands of people to lift their voices to the things that matter most to them. What is the history of “Why I Write”? In 1946, George Orwell wrote an essay with this title, and in 1976 Joan Didion wrote a version of her own. Since then, it has become a hashtag on Twitter that writers of all kinds use.

October 20, The National Day on Writing®, will be a day devoted to the importance of writing in our lives. Here are some ideas for you to celebrate writing for the national day and the rest of the year:

  • Encourage your students to uncover all of the different kinds of writing they do on a daily basis by asking them to keep a list of everything they write, from text messages to school assignments, e-mails to diary entries, in a single day.
  • After students make a list of everything they wrote in a day, help them see the variety in their writing, both individually and as a class. Post colorful chart paper with age-appropriate questions about purpose, audience, genre or type, and technology around the room.
  • Ask students to brainstorm different categories for each poster based on the writing they did. Write these categories on the posters and then have students contribute examples from their personal lists. Facilitate a gallery walk of the posters once students have contributed to all of them.
  • Encourage students to view and reflect on all kinds of writing – no matter the purpose, audience, type, or technology.

As you celebrate writing in October, share out with others using the hashtag #WhyIWrite!