Expand and extend and write it all down!
I often wonder whether students get enough writing practice in their academia classes, with all the focus on oral communication and STT. They do very little creative writing until it’s too late and they are suddenly expected to write a 120-180 word coherent story in 45mins starting with the sentence, “Mary was surprised by what she saw when she opened the door.”
However, writing doesn’t have to be an arduous, boring and uninspiring activity – perhaps we should just get students writing for the sake of it, without focusing too much on what they’re writing but rather how.
In our development session on Friday, we looked at a whole range of activities to review vocabulary (many of which will be popping up on here in the future!) and for practically each one my colleagues Simon and Beth said, “And then they could use those words to write a story!”
It became a bit of a joke, but the idea behind it is perfect – asking students to write something, anything, using a set of random words such as ball, eggs, ruin, pair, hour. It gives students the chance to be creative, gives the teacher an opportunity to read something different from each student and more importantly lets the teacher focus on the how rather than the what.