Every student has a paper writing experience. By the time they go to university, they have done various essays, written brief stories, and long ones. They have journaled and summed up and analyzed. So do we really have something new to offer them to make their writing skills even stronger? Yes, we do! Here are some fresh and unusual tips to help college, high school, and university students succeed even more with their writing assignments.
The TED Talk
There is plenty of inspiring TED talks out there that work well for students. Consider beginning with one from Tim Urban, called “Inside the Mind of a Masted Procrastinator.” You can also try to create a TED Talk of your own, sharing an astounding story, or a particular idea from your life. Teachers can organize TED conferences at schools, inviting parents, friends, and administrators.
Video Writing Prompts
If you are in search of extraordinary, brief, and interesting writing options, check out John Spencer’s Creative Writing Prompts for Students playlist. It consists of short videos that are designed to inspire the audience to think creatively. For teachers, among the useful clips is “Invent a New Class” that is meant to help them learn more about their students.
Teachers should consider creating a unit around famous love poems. This will help students get inspired and excited about creating their own stories. Explore different forms, from sonnet to totally free expressions. The good idea is to create a class anthology of poems, including the most known ones and selections from teacher’s and students’ favorite writers.
Everyone has probably wondered what they would talk about if they were on graduation stage. Teachers can provide students with a chance to find out. As the year comes to a close, consider offering students to compose their own graduate speeches. Help them create these by asking the following questions: What do you want to say to inspire students? Do you want to share some thoughts that will make them laugh? Or cry? Additionally, you can have your class vote on the top three pieces.
Young people usually get inspired by and value authentic audiences and a connection to the real world. A teacher can introduce them to some popular blogging platforms and encourage them to blog about a topic that they are genuinely passionate about. A teacher can devote one day every week to let students write about their passions. It can be anything, from list posts, review posts, video posts, or top-ten posts, etc. Ultimately, they will choose their own format.
Fold and Pass
When anyone tries this technique, he/she will, for sure, end up with some very special and exciting stories. A teacher should ask each student to start a story on a piece of paper, and introduce the main character. After a couple of minutes, every student stops and folds his or her paper and exchange with another student. The next person has to only be able to see the last several lines of the beginning. In this next round, students write their middle of the story, taking the character into a conflict before moving to the resolution. Eventually, students fold their papers, so just several lines are visible and trade with the next students, who have to move the stories to an end. Lastly, every story should be returned to the original writer. The results often make everyone laugh. This is a perfect activity when everyone needs a little break while still writing.
This challenge invites everyone who is passionate about writing novels in one month (November). Their website has all the necessary information. A teacher could also do first ask students to write a novella in a month or a brief story every day for a week.
“This I Believe” Essays
If you have never heard old radio series “This I Believe,” you should do it now! People from all around the country sent core beliefs in brief essays. The topics could be very funny but simple, for example, “I believe in the pizza delivery guy.” Writers shared their beliefs and provided specific examples of why they held that belief and how they came to have it. Such a format helps young people improve their ability to support claims and write with specific descriptions.
Letters to Students Far Away
Teachers should consider connecting their students to students in other countries around the world. They can create projects involving students writing back and forth about themselves. It is easier to do this by joining a Facebook group for teachers and making a post to find a partner. Finding a collaborative classroom partner provides students with a great reason to write, new friends, and an opportunity to break down some boundaries.
During their lives, students will likely write millions of emails. Why not teach them how to write good ones? A teacher can show students that electronic communication is much more than emoticons, abbreviations, and sentence fragments. Look for some good ideas for writing emails. Consider beginning with an email etiquette lesson.
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