Easy Writing Activities

Here is a short list of easy ESL writing exercises to help students learn and improve their English writing skills.

Writing Activity #1  Murder Mystery

  1. Review a true story about a man who was killed. The slides are here.
  2. Do a short pair work discussion to review the key facts and undercover missing elements.
  3. Write a persuasive story to describe what happened. Put the facts together. How did the guy die?

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Week 2 ESL Writing Class

This week, the ESL writing class has several specific composition objectives.

  1. Learn the six parts of good writing. They are called Six Writing Traits.
  2. Practice rewriting a short passage with a better description and better voice.
  3. Write a short story with a great description and a strong voice.
  4. Write a story that shows us an emotion but does not tell us the emotion. 


IDEA: a clear message. Good writing shows, it does not tell. Include bits of information often forgotten. Stimulating, interesting, surprising content.

ORGANISATION: The structure of the writing. Is it compare and contrast, point by point analysis, chronological? There is a beginning and an end.

VOICE: We can see there is a person writing to us, not a template. There is feeling, humor, personality.

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Quick ESL Writing Lesson: Using THE

This is a quick writing lesson that helps ESL students learn how to use the definite article in their writing.

First, here are five troublesome areas of writing where ESL students have some trouble using THE properly. These five areas come from the Bedford handbook.


PART A Some simple rules.

1.  The noun was already mentioned in a previous sentence.

She is a carrying a bag. The bag is yellow.

2.  The clause that comes after the noun restricts the noun’s identity.

Please pass me the book on the TV.

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ESL English Writing Lessons: Week 14

It’s the last week of the semester. Let’s wrap up a few lessons and details.

Writing Review

Last week, the students complete a rewriting exercise. The task was to take a first draft, which did not have enough details, and add extra information. That writing task is here. Here is a summary f my comments:

  1. Many students forgot to write paragraphs – please indent and add spacing.
  2. Most students simple copied words from the help box but did not try to add new information, or correct the grammar mistakes – please remember, writing is thinking.
  3. Almost everybody forget to add

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