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Quick Writing Activities

Here are some quick and easy writing activities to try with students.  We encourage you to do the assignment with your student(s).  Ideas will be exchanged, students will see how you write and learn from your writing style, and students enjoy reading your writing and thoughts! 
  • Write a summary of a TV show to bring in and read aloud, or retell an episode for a Language Experience Story.
  • Write a short paragraph about a good day at work.
  • Write sentences using new words.
  • Edit a writing exercise with your student.
  • Keep a journal; write letters, notes on greeting cards, valentines, posters, trip diaries, grocery lists, other lists (ex.: "What can you find in your kitchen?" "What are your favorite foods?"), etc.
  • Write about the World's Greatest Invention and/or the World's Worst Invention.
  • Keep a "Distraction Journal" to list distractions and discuss strategies for refocusing.
  • Sit on a street corner (or anywhere else) and write about what you see and hear. Describe it so that someone who wasn't there can form a clear image of the scene.
  • Look at a photo or picture, then write a paragraph describing the sounds you might be hearing in the scene. (We have a number of photo cards in the LS Library, for your use!)
  • Write song lyrics.
  • Write out vacation plans and keep a trip journal during the vacation.
  • Keep a notebook in which he copies a paragraph each day from a book which interests him. Try it twice-- first fast, then slowly and neatly.
  • For an experience story, write about a time you were afraid!
  • Write a plan for a road trip or vacation to be taken after your student receives her license.
  • Write an article for our newsletter, Bridge to Literacy.
  • Write a paragraph about something good/bad/funny that happened yesterday.
  • Write recipes.
  • Write a movie review.
  • Copy a sentence a day that you think is worth saving.
  • Write about a pleasant/unpleasant location.
  • Write out a shopping list.
  • Write letters to a family member. You can prep for this by looking at sample letters, talking about elements of a good letter, etc., as this may be a completely new skill.
  • Practice writing your home address or a family member's address.
  • See the "Poetry: Help for Reluctant Writers" attachment at the bottom of this page.
  • When giving a writing topic, have students draw a picture first.
  • Have students collaborate on a writing project.
  • Have a word-for-the-day for vocabulary building.
  • Have students select a favorite animal, plant, or other object and write through its voice (“I am the wind blowing through all the cracks and crevices of life.”)
  • Use nature pictures to create captions, poetry, stories, or essays.
  • Create a chain story: Instructor starts with a sentence, then students add another and another, etc.
  • Use the "Ideas for Writing" grid attached at the bottom of this page for a brainstorming activity.
  • Use the "Proofreading Checklist" tool at the bottom of the page to keep track of techniques students learn for proofreading their writing.
  • Review contractions--see the list attached at the bottom of this page for your reference.

Some prompts to stimulate writing:
  • Tell about a time you said no.
  • Tell about a time you said yes.
  • Tell about a time you stood up for yourself.
  • Tell about a time you stood up for someone else.
  • Tell about your worst job.
  • Tell about your best job.
  • Tell about a time you fell in love.
  • Tell about a time you fell out of love.
  • Tell about a time you traveled somewhere memorable.
  • Tell about a time something happened in the dark.
  • Tell about a time you were lost.
  • Tell about a time when someone else made a difference in your life.
  • Tell about a time when you made a difference in someone else's life.
  • Tell about a time someone old had an impact on you.
  • Tell about a time someone very young had an impact on you.
  • Tell about a time you met someone amazing.
  • Tell about something that happened outdoors.
  • Tell about something you treasured as a young child.
  • Tell about something that shows what's important to your family.
  • Tell about someone you want to be like as you get older.
  • Tell about a place that makes you fell calm and peaceful.
  • Tell about a time when something happened when you were doing something you love to do.
  • Tell the story of you life by making a list of place you have lived.
  • Tell the story of you life by making a list of things you liked to do at each age.
  • Tell the story of you life by making a list of people who have been close to you. Write a line or two about each one.
  • Tell the story of you life by making a list of the things that were most important to you at each age.
  • Tell the story of you life by making a list of movies that characterize your life at each age. 
  • Tell about your worst experience in school. 
  • Tell about the best thing that has ever happened to you in school.
  • Tell about something you know how to do really well.
  • Tell about a cultural tradition in your family that you want to pass onto your children.
  • Tell about an animal who was/is a big influence on you.
  • Tell about the birth of one of your children.
  • Describe one of your children. What is he or she like as a person?
  • Tell about one of the strongest memories you have with your child or children.
  • Tell about what is easy for you as a parent and what challenges you.
  • Tell about your hopes and dreams for your child and children.
  • Tell about a mistake you made that taught you something you may never forget.
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Literacy Source,
May 11, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Literacy Source,
May 11, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Literacy Source,
May 11, 2010, 10:58 AM
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Literacy Source,
May 11, 2010, 11:03 AM
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