Writing every day is one of my non-negotiable items for students no matter their grade level. I know when teachers hear me say that, one of the things they [guiltily] imagine is MORE grading and planning in an already busy life. Adding more writing can certainly turn into that if we let it, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Writing more frequently is an opportunity for students to practice, and I don't grade practice work. Why? It stifles creativity and student's willingness to take risks in their writing and thinking. In short, my purpose is to give students a chance to play with writing, thinking in new ways, get more comfortable with writing and challenge themselves.
The answer is Quick Writes - short, fast moments to try something new, think deeply or offer their thoughts and opinions on all kinds of things.
Choose a single picture from a textbook or elsewhere that is set in the time period you're studying in history. Give a bit of context if you wish, or not. Give students 2 minutes to interpret the picture in their writing.
Give students a sentence. Have them write another sentence to go with it [before or after]. Here's an example sentence: Plop. My creamy, chocolate chip ice cream slid off the cone and onto the ground.
A student might write this sentence to go after the given sentence: I was just taking my first lick and there it went!
Another student might write this sentence to go before the given sentence: My sister pushed me through the door, jostling my hand.
Grab my FREE 12 Quick Writing Ideas here [and get access to The Vault with all of my freebies].