English Writing Lessons
Here’s a writing lesson idea that teachers might want to keep in their back pockets: writing activities that don’t take much up time yet foster fluency and text-specific objectives.
I found these prompts at a great site for writing lesson ideas.
Writing Process and Feedback
Typically, these writing lessons should take about 15-20 minutes. Each activity is a timed writing lesson, though it’s longer than the normal 10 minutes I usually set aside for fluency writing.
The creator of these prompts wrote a blog post about how he or she uses these writing prompts in class. Here is a quick summary of that approach:
- 5-10 minutes – teacher teaches a narrow aspect of writing, perhaps a grammar point or style trick
- teacher shows the prompt and students write a story which, in part, incorporates the day’s lesson
- 10 minutes later, teacher calls time and collects student work, usually a 1/2 page of text per person
- students begin a 20-minute reading stretch
- teacher silently reads student work
- at the end of reading time, teacher provides feedback to whole class
- connects student effort to 6+1 writing traits
- reads a few examples of student work
- don’t grade on grammar
- emphasize the process of getting ideas from head to paper
Bottom line: emphasize fluency, connect to writing traits, provide quick and meaningful feedback.
I’m not sure it would work every week in my university classes, but I will try it at a few times before the mid term exams and get comments from my students.
Write an argument with two or three premises.
Write a text that supports an argument and be persuasive (i.e. use emotion).
Make a list. Write 10 steps that a successful person you like might have written.
Use of the images in this post complies with the author’s Creative Commons license.
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