Teachers always ponder how to stimulate motivation and engagement into classroom activities. The question gets more important when we talk about kids. While designing activities for kids, one must bear in mind that they prefer simple tasks which, on the one hand, do not make them tired and overwhelmed and, on the other hand, are productive. To shoot these two targets learners may practice copywork. Copywork is defined as a process when the teacher picks a passage and asks the child to copy it down word-for-word on another piece of paper. The purpose is to create a “perfect copy”, with correct capitalization, punctuation, spacing, and spelling.
Copywork has numerous benefits for kids, including:
- Muscle memory, which helps the student transfer letter formation and spelling to long-term memory.
- Attention to details, particularly spelling and punctuation which in many cases is ignored when kids just read through a passage.
- Memory reinforcement since it helps remember the information read in the passage.
- Compositions skills, i.e. kids get used to sentence structure and the grammatical patterns which are widely used in the given language.
However, while dealing with copying skills teacher must be selective and pay attention to many details. In order to indulge kids in copying activities teacher must choose interesting topics which are well-written and informative. Each copying skill session must be kept short in order not to burden learners. Each session must be relevant to the given learner age to be maximum fruitful for them. One of the most important factors is the goal that the teacher is persuing; copying can be assigned to improve handwriting, to hone spelling or punctuation, revise some target language,
Here are some interactive activities to boost copying skills among Young Learners.
- A very simple activity which can be exercised with learners who have just learnt or are learning letters is when students write the letter under the picture (under the picture of Fox they must write F). To make the activity targeted at copying rather than trying to guess the letter, teacher may beforehand have boarded the letters. Students look at the picture and find a letter from the board. In the given worksheet, teacher needs to cut out the letter so that students look at the picture and try to find the letter appropriate to it
- Another copying activity is when students copy words or sentences. The target language to be copied must be topic based. As for copying sentences, students may practice some grammar patterns or sentence structure. For both cases students practice running dictation. Target language may be stuck on the walls in the classroom. Students move in the room, read the target word/sentence, go back to their posters and write the word/sentence. The pair or group who finishes the first is the winner. As an alternative to this activity learners may be timed and group or pair will win who has copied more items than others. As a recap of the activity pairs/groups may be asked to underline some grammar structures or spelling peculiarities of the language they have just copied.
- Teacher may choose some words with some spelling features (double consonants, ance/ence, etc).Students copy the lists and then are asked to stand up. Teacher names a student, tells a word and asks the learner to spell it. The learner who remains stood up till the end of the game is the winner
- Teacher may cut out a short text into sentences and stick them on the walls. She chooses two/three different texts. Each group is given a poster with the first sentence of the text. Students recreate the text on their posters by finding the appropriate sentences and sticking them in the right order. Later the texts can be exchanged, students may be asked to copy out the keywords, some target grammar structures. With the key words they may be asked to retell the stories, grammar structures can be used to make up sentences with the same pattern.
- With some enthusiastic young learners, copying can be followe by an activity. They may be asked to copy some passage from reading and draw a photo describing the passage.
- Make it more fun, provide your students with supplies: a giant pen or a pencil, colored pencils or markers, small whiteboards, a piece of paper in a file (students write on a file and then can eraze everything they have written).
Here you can see some copying printables which may serve your classroom needs (Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter). You may always benefit from the copying activities when they are designed appropriately for the learners age, type and serve the initial goal.