These writing activities were created to give teachers lots of options to allow your students to practice narrative, descriptive, expository and/or opinion writing. You can use them when you just have a few minutes or extend them to a a full class activity (They can be used during the Christmas/winter season, but they do not refer directly to the holiday so students who do not celebrate it will not be left out).
Looking for other activities for the holiday season? Check out:
• "The Gift of the Magi" and "the Necklace" Lessons & Activities
• Christmas & Winter Holiday Activities for Secondary ELA
In this package you will find a series of short activities that you can use to build your students’ skills as writers. I have provided three different topics: gift giving, setting goals and New Year’s resolutions, and the tradition of Hygge. For each topic students will have options to do three of the following forms of writing: opinion, expository, narrative and/or descriptive. There is also an option for them to do some research, should you like to take the time.
The first page asks them to do a quick-write and some brainstorming. You can stop there if you just want them to explore the ideas and have some discussion (the only exception to this are the activities based on the concept of Hygge – students will need to read about it first so they will have the knowledge they need to complete the activities).
The second page instructs them to use their ideas from the first page to write a paragraph. Then, there is a checklist that asks them to reflect on some of the choices they made in the paragraph, and then brainstorm ideas for revision. Again, you can stop there if you just want kids to practice writing the paragraph, or you can ask them to use the draft to write a good copy. (Note, there are no instructions or rubric for the good copy option; you'll have to provide that yourself).
The third page asks students to read about the topic and take notes. As with the other activities, you can use this one to practice note-taking skills, or you can ask the students to use the information in a new draft of their paragraph.
If you do all of the activities, students will follow a process that will allow them to write an effective paragraph about the topic, and incorporate the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening as they do.
→ Suggestions for use:
• Choose one topic/form of writing and have the whole class complete it.
• Choose one topic and have kids do each form of writing for that topic.
• Create learning stations where the kids do one of the activities/forms at each one. For example, at station one they could do the pre-writing and discussion for the opinion piece on gift giving. At station two, they could do the expository activity, and station three would be for the descriptive one. Need more stations? Add the activities for hygge or resolutions.
If you're looking for other critical thinking activities, you might like to check out:
Writing Prompts to Build Skills & Stamina
Writing Lessons: Word Choice/a>
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