30 Ideas for Teaching Writingreceived a first-place DistinguishedAchievement Award from theAssociation of EducationalPublishers (AEP).The National Writing Projects 30 Ideas forTeaching Writing offers successful strategiescontributed by experienced Writing Projectteachers. Since NWP does not promote a singleapproach to teaching writing, readers willbenefit from a variety of eclectic, classroom-tested techniques.
1. Use the shared events ofstudents lives to inspire writing.2. Establish an email dialoguebetween students from differentschools who are reading thesame book.3. Use writing to improve relationsamong students.4. Help student writers draw richchunks of writing from endlesssprawl.
5. Work with words relevantto students lives to helpthem build vocabulary.6. Help students analyze textby asking them to imaginedialogue between authors.7. Spotlight language anduse group brainstorming tohelp students create poetry.
8. Ask students to reflect onand write about theirwriting.9. Ease into writingworkshops by presentingyourself as a model.10. Get students to focus ontheir writing by holding offon grading.
11. Use casual talk aboutstudents lives to generatewriting.12. Give students a chanceto write to an audience forreal purpose.13. Practice and play withrevision techniques.
14. Pair students with adultreading/writing buddies.15. Teach "tension" to movestudents beyond fluency.16. Encourage descriptivewriting by focusing on thesounds of words.
17. Require writtenresponse to peerswriting.18. Make writing reflectiontangible.19. Make grammarinstruction dynamic.
20. Ask students toexperiment with sentencelength.21. Help students askquestions about theirwriting.22. Challenge students tofind active verbs.
23. Require students to make apersuasive written argumentin support of a final grade.24. Ground writing in socialissues important to students.25. Encourage the "framingdevice" as an aid to cohesionin writing.
26. Use real worldexamples to reinforcewriting conventions.27. Think like a footballcoach.28. Allow classroomwriting to take a pagefrom yearbook writing.
29. Use home language onthe road to StandardEnglish.30. Introduce multi-genrewriting in the context ofcommunity service.
Five Current Trends inTeaching Writing withTechnologyA CAI Workshop by Andy JonesCoordinator, Computer-AidedInstructionThe Department of EnglishThe University Writing Program
1. The Technology ofInvention• Turn off the screens and letstudents write• Creativity and ConceptMapping Software - considerthe Mary Jacob approach• Outlining Software - Good forplanning and organizingdocuments
2. The Digital PortfolioAnticipated Outcomes• Folio Thinking is a set of behaviors anda mindset that leads to four ultimateoutcomes:• Improved student problem finding andsolving;• Greater meta-discursive analysis(Students conceptualizing their ownlearning);• Increased student self awareness; and• Increased awareness of others waysof thinking.
4. Writing, Technology, andEngagement• How can we encourage studentsto engage with audiences outsidethe classroom?• To what extent do our studentshave a responsibility to theirlarger community?• How will interactions with thesecommunities(social, academic, professional)better prepare them for post-graduate challenges?
5. Technology and CreativeWriting / Creative ThinkingThe National Commissionon Writing recommends thatusing technology tools canhelp motivate writersbecause often an aspect oftechnology-based writing ispublishing the writing insome form(Anonymous, 2005).