Debby Ellis Writing Center

Teaching Writing in Your Classroom

Teaching Writing In Your Classroom: Fifty Ideas You Can Use Tomorrow

In this section, we’ve developed some resources for moving the conversation about student writing off of the page, and the comments you leave on their work, and into the classroom.

Once you’ve planned the major writing assignments for your course, you’ll want to consider how to “scaffold” writing in your class. The goal of scaffolding is to provide opportunities for low-stakes writing that support students as they encounter increasingly complex and difficult writing assignments.

Here we provide a list of 50 ways that you can support student writing in your classroom, and we encourage you to pick and choose from the following activities. For clarity’s sake, they’re presented here as a set of directives, but we hope you’ll adapt them in ways that will work best for your students and subject matter. Many of these activities can work for individual or group work, inside or outside of class (although most will require at least an in-class review). Many might also easily be adapted to work online, in discussion boards or class blogs. If you have an assignment or exercise that has been particularly effective for teaching writing in your classroom and would be willing to share it, please let us know; we’d love to add to this list.

Before you turn to the activities, you may want to read these questions designed to help you determine how you’ll scaffold writing in your course.

The activities themselves are divided into four sections:

We also encourage you to visit our page of Sources and Further Resources.