ESL Writing Freshmen 2018 Week 2

It’s week 2 of the writing class. Time to get serious about learning English writing by rewriting the first draft.

Hour 1

1 Summary and Review (5)

What did we do last week?

  • Writing Skill #1: show me, don’t tell me
  • first draft Writing Exercise #1: A Place
  • Writing Skill # 2: sentences with prepositional phrases
  • read a poem about a diner by Charles Bukowski to get some ideas
  • finished first draft Writing Exercise #2: The Diner

Coming Up

What will we do this week? Our skills focus will be on sentences.

  1. Writing Skill #3: Sentence Variety. Use 1-2-3-4 rule to create sentences with different lengths – variety makes writing interesting.
  2. Use parallel structure to include lots of information with style.
  3. first draft Writing Exercise #3: 8 sentence drill
  4. Writing Skill #4: First Sentences – learn how to start your story a compelling first sentence that makes people want to read more
  5. Writing Exercise #4: Movie Review
  6. lots of rewriting and feedback


2 Writing Skill #3: Sentence Variety (10)


3 Timed Repeated Writing Exercise (15)

This is a writing drill that helps your learn a specific skill.

What’s a drill?

  • It’s a simple activity that you repeat many times so that you become good at it.

In this drill, you will practice writing 4 kinds of sentences:

  • 1 idea
  • 2 ideas
  • 3 ideas
  • 4 ideas

Step 1. Quick Review

This writing activity is based on the 1-2-3-4 skill, which we just reviewed. For example:

  • Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

Step 2. Task Description

You will see some pictures with numbers. For each picture, write a sentence with the number of ideas that matches the number. You have 60 seconds to look at the picture, think of a sentence and write it down. 

  • Remember to use the skills we learned last week: show me (don’t tell me) and prepositional phrases

Here is an example:

Step 3. Repeat 

You will look at about 8 pictures.


Hours 2 and 3

Quick Review Writing Skills

  • #1 Show Me, Don’t Tell Me
  • #2 Sentences with Prepositional Phrases
  • #3 Sentence Variety with 1-2-3-4 Rule

Quick Review Writing Exercise

  • #1 A Place (Show Me, Don’t Tell Me)
  • #2 Creative Story (Sentences with Prepositional Phrases)
  • #3 8 Sentences Based on Pictures (Sentence Variety with 1-2-3-4 Rule)

Today’s Plan

Here is the plan for these two hours:

  1. learn skill #4
  2. start new writing activity #4
  3. finish editing exercise (below)
  4. rewrite first draft of writing activity #1 (a place) and #2 (creative story based on a diner, food or restaurant)

The lessons for the second and third hours can be found by clicking on this ESL writing activity link.


Nothing to do?

Do this. Text Editing.

This exercise checks your ability to find sentences (i.e. decide where they start and end) and create paragraphs. Read the text and add punctuation (periods and commas). Capital letters are also required. There is no need to add words or fix the grammar.

Click here to for a pdf file which also has the answers.


this is a true story about joanne born in england she liked to tell stories when she was young after growing up joanne worked in an office she wasn’t happy because she wanted to write one day on a train to london she had an idea it was a story about a special boy when she got home she started to write she wrote about it every day a few years later joanne moved to portugal later she met a man got married and had a girl joanne continued to write there were problems in portugal so she returned to england with her girl joanne had no job and life was difficult but she didn’t stop writing five years after starting her book was finished now she wanted to sell it she sent the book to many book companies no one wanted it then she sent it to a man named christopher little he liked her book and took it to a company called bloombury they made the book the book was a best seller kids around the world loved reading about harry do you know who she is she is j.k. rowling the creator of harry potter.


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