TTP 2017 Writing Week 1

Welcome to this portion of the TTP Writing Class.

Week 1

Hour 1

  1. Intro and objectives
  2. What is good writing?
  3. Read a story and analyze a text
  4. First writing assignment



Welcome to a short course in writing and writing pedagogy.

This week’s theme is summarize and analyze. The goal is to write short pieces (1-2 pages) with dense, compact ideas and language. Be succinct. If time permits, there are two writing tasks this week:

  • a thoughtful story about your Oz experience
  • an analysis of a video called Room 8

Learning Outcomes

We have a limited amount of time together, so to be successful the objectives need to be narrow. Here is what I have planned for the next three weeks.

  1. Demonstrate elements of story telling by analyzing a text and applying that knowledge in a short writing assignment.
  2. Practice the writing process by rewriting text based on comments from individual feedback.
  3. Deepen knowledge of writing pedagogy by learning and recalling the 6+1 writing traits framework.
  4. Prepare trainees for the classroom by providing and completing activities that might be adapted for classroom use.
  5. Evaluate the potential power of writing by completing and assessing a Future Authoring exercise.

What is good writing?

Here is one answer. 6+1 Writing Traits: a guide and evaluation framework.


What is voice?

How can students learn to write with their own voice?

  • Let’s answer that question with an in-class activity.

Text Analysis

Let’s take this knowledge about writing traits and see if we can use it. Here is the story. It is called Death by Scrabble by Charlie Fish. Here is the printable version of this English short story. We will read it in class.

As you read the story (it’s short) think about the 6+1 writing traits.

  • Is this a piece of good writing?
  • Can you find examples of each writing trait?

If you are interested in more short stories, here are some more good stories English students.


Text Analysis

Here are some suggestions based on the text analysis.

English Writing Assignment

Now it’s your turn.

Write a short story about one aspect of your Australian adventure. Write about one episode or one event. Don’t try to capture the whole trip in one piece. Then it becomes a list of things, and not a story.

Be sure your story has:

  • a beginning, middle and end
  • a theme
  • elements of good writing traits
  • hints of a higher message, something to learned

This will be a first draft. Don’t worry about a polished piece right off the bat.

In the end, I see this as a signature piece.

A compelling story that you can tell your friends and students when they inevitability ask … how was your trip?

Please submit a first draft by the end of the second hour this week.



Here’s the plan for this hour:

  • introduce a couple of activities that can be used or adapted for use in your classroom
  • finish writing the first draft of your Australian adventure

Easy writing activities for English students

Biography poem

Here is a simple writing activity that also happens to be a review of several important grammar terms like gerunds, infinitives and adjectives.

This activity asks students to write an eight line poem. it can be about themselves or another person.

  1. review sample poem
  2. look at the structure
  3. review grammar patterns
  4. students write a poem
  5. they read it to a partner
  6. partner asks questions

Here is a pdf file with the writing exercise, poem and samples.


Hour 3

This is the second writing assignment for this week, time permitting.

Your task is to analyze the story int his video:

  • summarize the story in the video (character plot, setting)
  • interpret the meaning of the story

The total length I guess is 1-2 pages.

Imagination Series: Room 8 (3 of 5) from Bombay Sapphire on Vimeo.


Hour 4

This time will be used in one of two ways:

  • provide feedback to students
  • complete writing assignments 1 and 2
  • complete journal writing