10 Writing Activities

Looking for English lessons that get students writing and thinking? Here are 10 activities which help students improve several aspects of the total writing experience.

Creative Writing

1 Sci-fi

Students write a story about an encounter with a UFO; good picture prompt included.

  • Instructional focus: add details.

2 Mini saga

Students write a complete story in 50 or 100 words.

  • Instructional focus: write a complete thought in one paragraph.

Summary and Analysis

3 Video prompt

Watch the video Howl. Summarize the story. Describe the story’s message.

  • Instructional focus: learn to summarize.

4 Text summary

Read a short text. Summarize the story about why Twitter is limited to 140 characters. Describe the main idea.

  • Instructional focus: learn to identify key information.

Critical Thinking

5 Inferences

Learn how to make inferences by completing several short activities.

  • Instructional focus: be aware of and describe unspoken assumptions that lead to conclusions.

6 Arguments

Learn how to write an argument with a simple sentence pattern.

  • Instructional focus: identity and articulate main ideas by writing about the claim and premise.

7 Critical analysis

Analyse and evaluate the argument in a TV commercial.

  • Instructional focus: use critical thinking techniques to evaluate claims.

8 Arguments based on analogies

Listen to a story about the meaning of life. Summarize the story. Describe the story’s argument.

  • Instructional focus: evaluate arguments based on analogies.

Better Text

9 Editing

Practice error correction with these exercises.

  • Instructional focus: students learn to find and fix their own text errors.

10 Paraphrase writing

Students increase awareness of sentence styles by paraphrasing words and ideas.

  • Instructional focus: expand vocabulary and understanding of sentence styles.

Teach writing and critical thinking skills

In the ebook Teach Writing Thinkingly, you get 20 lessons that help students improve composition style and mechanics and learn language skills to express and critique arguments and ideas. Click HERE for details.ESL writing lessons

Teach writing?

Get the ebook Teach Essential Writing Skills. Transform the quality of EFL student writing by focusing on four essential skills. Click here for details about the ebook that should be part of every writing teacher’s resource library.


Save time. Teach well.

Cut your lesson prep time with this colossal collection of ESL resources that stimulate language learning and critical thinking. Simplify your lesson planning because teaching should be a joy, not a chore.

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