Writing Class Week 6

Here are some writing activities and lessons for week 6 of the semester.

Writing Activity 1: Fix the Parallel Structure

This is an activity which we did not finish last week. Can you edit these sentences to create a parallel structure?

  1. Mike likes to listen to rock music and reading mystery novels.
  2. While in France, my nephew spent his time studying French, working in a restaurant, and he jogged along the Seine River every morning.
  3. My home-office is filled with student reports, scrap paper and the garbage can is overflowing.
  4. Joan decided to paint her office, to add some new curtains, and that the rug needs dry cleaning.
  5. He wanted three things out of university: to pick up a marketable skill, to make good friends, and understanding the stock market.
  6. My grandfather’s favorite pastime is to eat in trendy restaurants and visiting art galleries.
  7. Julia is in charge of stocking the shelves, writing orders, and to sell computers. 

Writing Activity 2: Quick Paragraph

  1. Objective: ESL students write a six sentence paragraph. They cannot repeat a word, including contractions and articles.
  2. Rules: The paragraph must make sense and demonstrate standard principles of a well structured paragraph (i.e. topic and unity). It should not be a simple collection of unrelated sentences.
  3. Benefits: Students become aware of vocabulary choices and their word weaknesses. It might also be a little fun. 

Writing Activity #3: Make Comparisons

Choose two things which might not normally be compared.

Your job is to choose two things and describe how they are the same. Here is an example by a middle school student, about school and jail.

School and jail are similar in many ways. First of all, I have to wear a uniform in both places. I hate wearing the same clothes as other people. Also, both places make us wear what they want. Just as if we were a doll. Second of all, I have to spend a lot of time there. At school, students have to stay from 8am to 4pm for 3 years (just counting middle school). Similarly, in jail people have to stay as long as the judge said. Finally, there is only one way to be free from school and jail. To get free from school you should graduate. To get free from jail you should wait for the day the judge said you can be free. These are the similarities between school and jail. Still, the most important thing is that I hate both places.

Writing Activity #4: Eight Line Biography Poem

Part A: Sample

tall, energetic, happy, intelligent
mother of Danny
who loves music, books and fresh air
who is afraid of President Bush, spiders and heights
who wants to see Latin America, the end of war and summer
resident of Seoul

Part B: Structure

Line 1: first name/nickname of the person 
Line 2: 4 adjectives which describe the person
Line 3: important relationship to the person
Line 4: 3 things s/he loves
Line 5: 3 things that scare her/him
Line 6: 3 things s/he wants to see
Line 7: resident of…place/time/concept
Line 8: last name

Writing Activity #5: Describe Abstract Concepts

This is deceptively hard writing challenge.

  1. Watch this short video.
  2. Make a list of the 11 simple concepts presented.
  3. Write a mini paragraph about each concept. How did the artists decide to present each concept with basic tools (like a dot or line)?


Tiny Story from Sebas and Clim on Vimeo.

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