How do we build writing stamina in our students? By building their confidence. How do we build their confidence? By creating daily opportunities for success.
Quick writes do just that! Quick writes are not about perfection. They are about confidence, stamina, and joy!
There are 285 writing prompts in this set, plenty to give you loads of choice as your kids write through the year. They are sorted by genre and include:
44 fictional prompts
51 informational prompts
59 silly sentence starters
42 opinion prompts
40 realistic fiction prompts
49 picture prompts
5 blank template slides so you can create your own
After noticing that our students were getting loads of instruction on writing, but not much actual writing practice, I put together this set of prompts and began writing for 10 minutes every single day. Quick writes quickly became the highlight of our days!
Quick Write Tips:
Start out by explaining the purpose to your kids. This writing is not about perfection. It is about confidence, stamina, and joy! Tell them how much you love this part of the day – they will work hard to impress you!
Give each student a book (we use a composition notebook) that is just for quick writes. Date the page each day.
When first starting, stick with the silly sentence starters and the fictional prompts. You want the kids to fall in love with quick writes before using them to teach the standards.
Start the year with a 12-15 minute timer and then back it down to 10 minutes as they get comfortable. When time is up, they have to stop. Again - this will stress some of them out at first, but they come to expect it. Later in the year during writing workshop, or when they have free time, they will ask if they can go back in and add to stories. YES!!
After the timer goes off, give them a silent minute to come to a close.
Do not spell for them. Kids who worry about spelling can not focus on the writing. At the beginning, it really stresses some of them out, but they get comfortable when they realize that you are not going to get in their quick write books and circle things in red pen.
Take time to share. It is so important for them to hear each other share and to learn to be good listeners. If you have a microphone, hand it to a student to share. Then they can pass it to the next person. Do not require sharing, but encourage it.
During sharing – Be completely involved. I tend to do attendance and other small tasks while they write because I am not supporting them in any way – but when it is time for them to share they should get all of your attention. Sit with them in the sharing area. Take time to quickly point out strong writing. "I love how you used the word chomped instead of ate! It creates a great picture in my mind." This is a quick and easy way to build their confidence and give genuine specific feedback.
Have the kids who don't share leave their QW books in a basket so you can read them. (That way they are accountable even if you don't get time to read them all.) Make comments on sticky notes when you can.
As the year progresses, you can build so many things around quick writes. For example - if you notice kids are all ending stories with, "and then I woke up and it was all a dream!" You can do a quick mini-lesson on endings. If you hear a student saying, said, said, said...you can have a quick discussion about alternatives to said.
When you have extra time, and after the kids have heard you give specific feedback regularly, let them give it a try. Kids value feedback from peers.
The prompts in this set are divided by genre. It is up to you how you do them with your kids. I generally do a fiction prompt Monday, an opinion on Tuesday, a silly sentence starter on Wednesday, etc. That way the kids don’t get bored. However, if I am teaching specifically about realistic fiction, I might do a couple that week. Also, if we are having a rough day, I might pick a silly prompt rather than an opinion or informational prompt.
Collect great photographs when you see them, and add them to this presentation. Because of copyright laws, I cannot add all the great ones that I have in my personal file, but you can add them to yours for classroom use. Just click to add a new slide and copy in new pictures.
There are blank templates included at the end of each genre so that you can add your own prompts that correlate with what you are teaching, or the holidays, etc.
Most importantly – laugh out loud – show them your joy! They will write like you never thought they could!
Enjoy!! Thanks for looking!
Carpe Diem Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/