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Great Writing Class Activities that Save Time (part 2)


Keith S. Folse                                                            keith.folse@gmail.com

University of Central Florida


Activity # 7:

Pick and Choose

Have students do several smaller writing assignments during the week or two weeks.  On  the last day, announce which TWO assignments you will be collecting.  These two will be marked/commented on; the others will not.  This is an idea from my 9 th grade  typing teacher, Mrs. Cameron.  Students will take great care with ALL of the assignments since they do not know which one will be collected. Folse,  p. 5

Activity #8

A Paper “Bulletin Board” / “listserv” Exchange (CLASSROOM SETTING with PAPER)

If you have 20 students, prepare 5 different papers with a leading question at the top of the paper.  Make 4 copies of each paper.  Have each student read and then write a response to the question on the paper.  Call time after 5 minutes.  Then students exchange papers.  Students are then reading others’ thoughts and responding/adding.  I recommend 5 minutes for subsequent writings.

Example: The voting age should be raised to 25.  Agree or disagree?  Why?

Example:  We need mandatory military service in the U.S.  Agree or disagree?  Why

Example: The driving age should be raised to 25.  Agree or disagree?  Why?

Activity #9:

“Shared” Paragraphs Students will write each a story together. Each student begins with a dictated sentence from the teacher.  Then tell the students to add an additional sentence. Then they  exchange papers, read each other’s writing, and add another sentence.  The process goes on.  At times, the teacher brings writers’ attention back to a composition/writing feature. Example:  1. dictate:  “Once upon a time there was a ___________who___VERB_____.

  1. Add one more sentence here.
  2. Exchange papers. Add one sentence with VERY followed by an  ADJECTIVE.
  3. Exchange papers. Add one sentence but make sure it has a verb that begins with the letter T.  Underline the verb you used.
  4. Exchange papers. Add one sentence like this “Because __S+V__, __S+V__.”
  5. Exchange papers. Add two sentences.  Use two adjectives.  Underline them.
  6. Exchange papers. Add two sentences.
  7. (homework??) Now write an ending to it

Activity #10:

WORK ON VOCABULARY for better writing:  from  Greater Essays, pp. 139-140

Do both vocabulary memorization and collocations.


  1. acquaintances        PEOPLE                    THINGS
  2. delete                         ADD                          SUBTRACT
  3. parade                 ONE PERSON          MANY PEOPLE


COLLOCATIONS (natural combinations):

  1. work / natural _______________ acquaintances
  2. an old e-mail / a friend delete _______________
  3. satisfactory / perfect virtually _______________



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