Writing Strategies

Strategies to build stronger writing skills and encourage students to engage with writing. Focused on the secondary level, but can be applied to all ages.

Dear Sixth Grade Self - As my eighth graders discussed the theme of growing up in the novel House on Mango Street, I had them connect the idea to their own lives---How had they grown up? Especially in the transition from sixth to eighth grade?
Teaching Figurative Language! - Figurative language is so complicated, yet so much fun! I created this AMAZING (okay, I might be bragging just a little, but I'm super excited!) resource to teach students. It is a scaffolded set of notes that include examples, pictures, and even song clips for learning figurative language in more ways than one!
Someone Else’s Shoes - Another extension activity! This time I made the students think creatively and outside the box.
The Boring Words Funeral - Today my 6th grade co-teachers and I held a Boring Words Funeral for the overused, boring, '2nd/3rd grade' words in our vocabulary. This was a very somber event. Students and teachers wore black. We wrote words down on notecards, placed them in burial shoe box, processed around the room, and said our final words.
ClassTools.Net – An Excellent Teacher Resource - Just last week, my co-teacher introduced me to ClassTools.Net, an excellent resource for teachers! This website has interactive diagrams, models, games, and activities for all ages!
Old Man and the Sea Outline - My Honors kids have been struggling with thesis statements. They have great ideas, they just aren't articulating them into arguments. And thus their papers (and grades) are suffering. So I decided to do something a little different for their Old Man and the Sea papers. I wanted to help them out.
What’s Wrong with My Summer Essay? - Okay, this sounds a lot harsher than it actually was...sort of.
Snapshot - Take a picture/photograph and write. This strategy is related to Writing from Image [Ekphrastic]
Writing From Image [Ekphrastic] - The assignment: to focus on a specific object or image, and then concentrate on how to write about this image/picture in a descriptive way. This strategy gets the students to start thinking about figurative language, symbols, similes, connections, etc.
Research is Fun [Weird!] - In my opinion, teaching students to write in first person (about themselves, their life experiences, their reflections, etc.) is much easier than teaching students to write academically or write research papers. That is why I like this strategy: Research is Fun, because I think that finding new ways to teach research/professional writing is essential for […]
Attention-Grabbers Lesson – Narrative Stories - A good introduction is one that doesn’t always start at the beginning of the story. A good introduction uses figurative language, interesting detail, and grabs the reader’s attention and makes him/her want to keep going! This is something I emphasized with my sophomores when writing their narrative pieces.
Frame-Up - ‘Frame Up’ is a writing strategy that I love because I think that it is a great way to help students shape their academic essays. A huge problem students have with essay writing is that they aren’t sure how to begin. For the most part, students understand what a thesis statement is, they just don’t […]
Volunteerism to Inspire Research/Writing - Using volunteerism to inspire research and writing: First, students will be given a list of local places in the community. The students are given the freedom to choose one that connects with them personally, research some background on it—go there, talk to people, go on a tour, etc. and then begin several different reports on […]
School Yearbook - For this strategy, students are encouraged to write as if writing for the yearbook.
Class Poem - Poetry can be intimidating, so what better way to integrate it in a classroom than through a class poem?
Four Corners & Personality Collage Doll - The ‘Four Corners and Personality Collage Doll’ activity is basically a strategy for getting students to both define themselves and write about themselves—thus everyone (including the teacher) gets to know one another. I feel that this is a great activity to start with in the first few days of my class. Students will be encouraged […]