Activities for "Section A.
Four Stories about Learning to Write
(See also "Activities
1. Just let go and write something--anything at all: Write that letter to someone that you always wanted to write but never did
and/or are afraid to. (You can always throw it away afterward!)
Or perhaps you would like to write some kind of exciting, interesting, or strange
fictional (made-up) or partly fictional and partly real scene between you and
someone else. (Again, you can always throw it away afterward!) A
third possibility is to write about something that really happened (and then,
also, if you want, throw it away).
2. Peer groups are small groups of your own peers--other students-- that teachers organize so
that you can work with each other. Such groups help you actually practice what is
being taught, rather than just hear it through lecture. Studies indicate such
learning in some situations can be very effective. (For more information
about how to organize and run such activities, see "Running
A Small Group" or "Computer,
Telephone, & Online Groups.") Here is an excellent group
activity with which to start a writing class. Follow these directions:
Count off so
that you are divided into groups of three to four people each. Introduce yourselves
to each other by name and major.
Volunteer yourselves for your group
roles. The choices are as follows:
Coordinator: not the
person who does all the group work, but rather the one who coordinates everyone to share
in the work.
Writer: not the person who
chooses what to write, but rather the one who simply records what everyone in the group
decides together to write.
Reader: the person who
will stand up at the end of the exercise, face the entire class, and read the group's
written results loudly and clearly.
Timer: a person who has or
borrows a watch and keeps the group following the time schedule laid out by the teacher
for the exercise's steps. (If you only have three in your group, your coordinator
also is your timer.)
Individually each of you should write
about your best or worst writing experience ever. Write as quickly as you can for
about ten minutes.
Read your experience word for word to the
other members of your group.
Working as a group, make a list or
description of what you believe composes good writing experiences and what composes bad
writing experiences. As you list or describe them, have your writer write them down
(clearly enough that the reader will be able to read them later). Please list or
describe using at least one hundred words for good writing experiences and at least one
hundred for bad writing experiences. (Hint: giving examples or even telling stories
Share your written results with the rest
of the class: have your writer stand, go to the perimeter of the class, face the other
students (and not just the teacher), and read your written results word for word, loudly
Finally, if the teacher requests it, you may
need to hand in various portions of your written work as individuals and/or as a group.
Find more activities for groups and classes in the
Home Page section's
General Activities for Groups.
Thinking & Reading