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When Writing Becomes a Joy

By Irma Fitriani, Grade II teacher at SDIT Adzkia, Sukabumi

When Writing Becomes a Joy
Drafts of some of the books by students of Grade 1I SDIT Adzkia. The covers show the title and pictures that match the writers' own imaginations. The contents are written in their own words. The habit of reading helps students to express their ideas in writing.

Literacy is a very important ability for students to master. At SDIT Adzkia I, a special literacy program has been implemented during the first semester which is integrated into Indonesian language lessons. The final product comes in the form of books, written by students, which get printed and look great.?

Program Implementation 

This literacy program aims to educate students so that they love to read and write, as well as training them to be able to express their experiences, ideas, dreams, and hopes in writing. Through this learning program, students are expected to become happy about—and used to—reading and writing.

To enrich the students' ideas for their writing, the school has promoted a reading activity carried out 15 minutes before the lessons begin. Interesting reading books are provided in the reading corners in all the classrooms.

This reading activity has succeeded in expanding students' horizons and influencing their patterns of thought, speech, and behavior. The habit of reading is expected to expand the students' insights.

Creating a Literacy Festival

There are six stages in this literacy activity, which is a special program for Grade II at SDIT Adzkia, and they are as follows:

  1. Pre-Writing
    At this stage, students learn how to brainstorm about something, whether it be describing objects, pictures, neighborhoods, professions or events that are happening, and doing so until it turns into a complete and meaningful story. The teacher gives an example first, such as describing a flower vase. Together, they make sentences that form a complete description of the vase. Then the students are asked to relate their descriptions of objects in front of the class.

    Next, the teacher tells the class a story, for example a fable, a story about a prophet, or some other story. Then the students are asked to retell the story and draw the characters from the story in their drawing books.

    The teacher guides and directs the students to complete the story. At this stage the students still do it verbally. If it is sometimes written down, the students try to write it simply in their notebooks.

    To broaden the insights of the story ideas in the piece of writing which they will develop, the students need to visit the library to read. They are also often asked to bring story books from their homes to swap with their friends and read.
  2. Rough Draft
    At this stage, students are trained to create a story based on a theme determined by the teacher, for example about a memorable experience, ideals, dreams, and so forth. Then students produce a piece of writing based on their own ideas. The results of this are compiled into a special book which is called a "rough draft."
  3. Conferences
    At this stage, students are asked to describe their work to the class. The teacher and the other students listen and give comments on the work and offer ideas so that the content of the story can be further developed. This stage also trains students to communicate and have the confidence to speak in front of the class.
  4. Revision
    The revision stage is the part of the process where students choose the most attractive and interesting stories from the rough drafts to use for their books. The teacher gives feedback or additional ideas so that the stories come alive. Here the teacher plays a quite big role in helping students to produce the best work they can without losing the originality of their own thoughts and ideas.
  5. Dummy Book
    After the final revision, the students rewrite the content on new paper and add images, a title, biodata, and other things deemed necessary. This format of the work is called a dummy book ready to be sent to the printer to be turned into a real book.
  6. Printing Books The process reaches its culmination at the printer's shop. At this stage, the book undergoes an editing of the text layout and images so that it is suitable for printing without impinging on the ideas and creativity of students in terms of story and image content. The aim is that the originality of their work can still be seen clearly. The resulting printed copies of the books are displayed at the Literacy Festival where they are seen by parents and given to them. The students are extremely proud of their work.

In this activity, the teacher needs to be patient and thorough while guiding the students. But the results are incredible; the students are able to produce books that get printed beautifully and look like the ones they see in bookstores. Writing has now become a delight for the students.


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