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5 Excellent Writing Activities for Group Classes

Emily Smith

When you are teaching a group class, it’s always a great idea to make use of the other students in the class. While writing sounds like an independent activity, it doesn’t always have to be. You can make writing an engaging activity that requires two or more people. To help you plan your lessons, we’ve made a list of five excellent writing activities for group classes.

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1. Who am I? Have each student write a description of a character. This can be a pop star, superhero, or anyone else the whole class may have heard of. Collect the descriptions and redistribute them around the class. Hopefully, each student will get a paper that is not his/her original paper. The students should read the description and make a guess as to who the paper is describing. The student should write a paragraph that describes why he/she thinks the original description was about that character/person. This is a fun way to get your whole class involved in a writing assignment.

2. Group-effort story writing. This activity is easy to manage if you start by having your students sit in a circle. Next, each student starts with his/her own piece of paper. He/she should write one sentence to start a story. Then, all of the students pass their papers to the right. Now that they have a new paper, they have to add one sentence to the new story. Keep passing the papers and adding sentences until everyone in the group has added to everyone else’s story. If you have a small group, you can pass the stories around more than one time. After the stories are written, you can read them aloud to the group.

3. Make a Monthly Newspaper. Have your students compile a weekly newspaper. Each student will be responsible for contributing news article to different sections. Sections can cover things like sports, entertainment, current events, comics, school news, and astrology. After all of the sections are written, the students can be responsible for formatting it so that it looks like a real newspaper. Your students will always look forward to getting the latest edition of the paper.

While writing sounds like an independent activity, it doesn’t always have to be. You can make writing an engaging activity that requires two or more people.

4. Writing Skits. Put your students into groups of three or four. Give them a topic such as “the environment”, “friendship”, or “family life”. Then tell them to write a script for a 5-7 minute long skit. Each student should be responsible for writing his/her own lines in the skit. At the end of the class, the groups can act out their skits in front of the class.

5. Writing About Issues. Have your class pick something they would like to change about their school. The issue should be something such as wanting a longer lunch break, getting a new computer lab, or improving school safety. As a class, discuss the main points that need to be brought to the school administration’s attention in order to convince them to make the change. The students should make compelling arguments to get the outcome they desire. After the discussion, have each student write a letter to the administration addressing the issue. The students can mention the arguments discussed in class.

These are a few ideas to get your students writing! When you are teaching a group class, you can make use of the number of students in order to make writing lessons more engaging and interactive.

Have you used any of these writing activities in your classroom? Let us know how they went. If you haven’t, but have had success with other writing activities in group classes, let us know about those, too!

About the author

Emily has taught English to ESL learners in four Asian countries. Although she taught students from 3-60, she has a definite affection for preschoolers and college students. She has also worked as an ESL curriculum writer and is TESOL certified. When she is not teaching, she loves watching and making films.