When back-to-school season is in full swing, you may want to assign activities other than the traditional “What I did for my summer vacation” report. Make writing more fun while helping students get more out of their writing experiences with Writing A-Z back-to-school activities. Writing A-Z provides differentiated activities in both print and digital formats, promoting writing as a way to communicate ideas and connect with people.
Check out these five interactive assignments that portion writing into manageable pieces and create a positive foundation for future writing experiences.
The Artifact Bag
Prepare students for this get-to-know-you activity by asking them to bring 4 small, non-breakable objects in a bag to school. These objects should have some connection to the student’s hobbies, background, or personal experiences. During class, students write a short paragraph explaining each object and what it shows about their personality. Then, students discuss their objects and their writings with a partner.
Let your students play journalists as they interview classmates to learn about their hobbies, their family, fun facts about them, and what they look forward to during the school year. As students conduct interviews, they refine their speaking and listening skills. Students write their interviewee’s answers on the student response sheet and then introduce him/her to the rest of the class.
"Get to Know Me" Book
Students become published authors and illustrators when they follow a template that asks them to write about their personality traits. Students can respond to the template through the digital Build-A-Book tool, which allows them to use a full-color library of clip art and backgrounds to illustrate their texts. When students are done writing and illustrating, they can print their digital compositions, share them with classmates, and upload them to the Kids Writing Library.
This activity fosters connections between home and school by prompting students to discover the meanings behind their names. Students get to know themselves better by asking their parents or guardians the inspiration behind their names. This self-discovery activity can be shared with a partner the following day.
Most useful for you to find out more about your students’ literacy habits, this questionnaire surveys students about what kinds of reading and writing materials they have at home. Reading students’ answers will help you better understand the literacy background they bring to the classroom.
Bringing It All Together
When students complete these assignments and other writing activities throughout the year, there are multiple ways for them to track their progress. Students can collect hand-written assignments in a pocket folder, or they can also create a digital portfolio that stores their compositions online. Both print and digital portfolios allow students to see how much writing they have completed, making them feel more motivated to write as the year continues.
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