How to Incorporate Writing Across the Curriculum [Free Printable]

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.

My purpose for more writing isn't to have more grades in a grade book. I rarely grade this extra practice...
...and I don't think you should either.

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.

It's much EASIER than it sounds.

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.

Here's how it works:
  • Create a list to pull from in a pinch.
  • Start thinking in terms of opportunities to think and learn by writing as you teach. Use those when you can or add them to your list.
  • Decide when you want to add writing each day. Either schedule a regular time for it [right before lunch, end of day] or just add it as a note to your plan each day in the subject you want to use it.
  • Quick share - share with a partner, ask 3 volunteers to share with the class, or simply lean in and see how students are approaching it as they work.
  • Try it as an experiment for 2 weeks. See what you think.
Here's a couple of examples of how you can use this strategy.

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]. 



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