Detailed chapter writing assignment and rubric. Students read Mitch Albom's novel "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" and then write their own chapter. I have detailed seven focus areas for their writing. One example is Description: "Vividly describe the setting. Lots of concrete imagery and adjectives and action verbs.
Paint a picture of your heaven with your words. Vividly describe your person so we can get a clear picture of her/him. Writing tip: Do your describing consistently, in bits, not all at once in the opening paragraph and then never again."